Forensic CAMHS (FCAMHS) at the Portman Clinic

Forensic CAMHS (FCAMHS) is a free specialist community consultation service designed to provide consultation to professional networks regarding young people that cause them great concern, specifically in relation to risk and the a young person’s extreme and criminal behaviour. These young people may also be presenting as risky and difficult to manage safety in the community.  

What is FCAMHS

FCAMHS is a specialist forensic service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and has been based at the Portman Clinic since 2018. The service was designed to support professionals who are working with young people who present with high risk of harm to self/others and who are currently or at risk of engaging in offending behaviour.

FCAMHS is a community liaison model and typically offers a range of services including, clinical consultation and occasionally specialist assessment for young people who present with  very complex needs across a variety of community, residential, secure and custodial settings. Child Psychotherapists at the Portman Clinic have been providing consultations and risk assessments for many years. Some of this work has now become part of FCAMHS multidisciplinary work.

In addition to our clinical role, FCAMHS provides a range of community based projects, which are aimed at inclusion and equal service oppotutntiy for all boroughs and services. Some of these projects include: co-location to sites, including YOTs and Social Care sites; group training programs with schools; reflectoive practice groups with third sector organsiations in service specialist training sessions; and supervision groups for placement managers.

FCAMHS also offers a 9-5pm advice line 5 days a week, which is available to any professional in our geographical patch who has concerns about young people they are working with, and who would like some confidential advice from a Forensic CAMHS clinician. To utilise this please send an email to

We provide a psychological relational formulation that relies on others’ experiences with a young person. We help them both understand the meaning of the behaviour and evaluate their role in relation to that, both within the network and in relation to the referred patient. We also:

  • Providing an opinion based on  psychodynamic and systemic understanding to offending behaviours and risk
  • Provision of psychological – relational  formulations based on our multidisciplinary experience in working  with people who present as harmful and highly disturbing
  • Completion of structured forensic risk assessment
  • Identification of protective factors (mitigating risk)
  • Provision of risk management assessment, formulation, and intervention
  • Involvement of the young person and their family in the care plan
  • Clarification in psychiatric diagnosis and assessment
  • We have a limited spaces of systemic Integrative Therapy 6 month behavioral based intervention packages (SIT) provided through the Brandon Centre 

The FCAMHS team includes forensic and child and adolescent psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, a social worker, and a senior administrator. The FCAMHS team has particular expertise in:

  • working at the interface between health, youth justice, welfare, and education systems
  • supporting other services involved with helping high-risk young people
  • understanding the difficulties and dilemmas associated with the care of high-risk young people

We cover and are able to accept referrals from the 13 boroughs across North Central and North East London, including: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, City and Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

While the service is based at the Portman clinic in North London, we operate a community outreach service across the large geographical area of North Central and North East London.

FCAMHS boroughs

To make a referral to FCAMHS please make sure the referral meets the following criteria:

  • The young person is under 18 years old
  • The young people is from one of our 13 boroughs (see 'Where this service is available' tab above)
  • The young person is presenting with offending behaviours or where there is significant risk of this occurring
  • There is consent to share information has been obtained
  • The professional network is established and would be involved in consultation with FCAMHS 
  • A local CAMHS or LA must be involved and hold and maintain clinical responsibility for the young person while FCAMHS is involved

Download the referral form now

Please call our intake team to discuss the young person or to complete a phone referral on 02089382089. 

Please call us if you would like to discuss a possible referral or to seek clarification about a possible referral. 

Please direct all email correspondence to:

Once a referral is made we will review it at our referrals meeting and you will be notified of the outcome thereafter. 

18 July 2021

FCAMHS presented at the International Congress of Psychology:

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in a London-Based Forensic Youth Population

19 November 2020

RC Phsych logo

Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service North London Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust FCAMHS was shortlisted for the RCPsych Psychiatric Team of the Year 2020: Children and Adolescents.

1 October 2020

In addition to the statement released by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Paul Jenkins, we at FCAMHS express our commitment to addressing the structural and systemic racism impacting the lives of many young people and families referred to our service. As a team, we place great importance on understanding harmful behaviour in context and this includes the impact of structural racism and inter-generational trauma on early life, psychological and emotional development, attachment and relational trauma.

We are aware that the pain raised by injustices highlighted in the Black Lives Matter Movement and how the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities has impacted on many young people and families referred to FCAMHS, as well as many colleagues in professional networks.

We are committed to addressing ways in which our team and professional networks may indirectly maintain structural and systemic racism. As a consultation service we pledge to play our part in creating safe spaces for these conversations to happen, so that we can take collective action.

1 April 2020

During this time of great concern about public health, we would like to reassure our service users that FCAMHS will continue to run a full service offering advice and consultations via telephone or video as needed.

We understand that the current situation may put further strain and stress on children, young people, their families and professional networks; and we anticipate that this may cause further disruption to already disrupted situations.

We remain available for consultations to assist with these difficulties and will to continue to provide advice and consultation.

Please continue to contact us via our secure email at and we will return your contact with a phone call.

Please ensure that you include your correct contact details:

email address(es) and telephone number(s) so that we are able to get in touch with you promptly.


The Port, North Central and North East London, Forensic CAMHS Team

Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

December 2020

Supporting youth workers: A reflective group consultation approach (Marshall et al., 2020)

Published in: British Psychology Society Division of Forensic Psychology Journal, issue 135 December 2020

Forensic child and adolescent mental health services (FCAMHS) became a service within the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in 2018, and since then has become a multidisciplinary expansion of the Portman Clinic’s consultation and assessment work. FCAMHS provides specialised consultation, assessment and brief interventions to professionals, families, and young people across 13 boroughs in Central, North, and East London. As a service provider we aim to support third sector service users who are working directly with some of the most vulnerable, at risk, and risky young people in our area. Through an existing contact in a local youth organisation we began to discuss the idea of creating a space where professionals could come together as a group to reflect on experiences and identify areas of difficulty in their work. Reflective practice groups offered by the Portman Clinic are often psychoanalytically-informed consultation groups which offer a way of working with professionals and young people by reflecting on the meaning, communication and experience of the young person’s behaviour, and our own responses to this. 

Therefore, we decided to offer a reflective practice group to third sector professionals known to FCAMHS from local youth services and other local agencies, who work with some of the most vulnerable, challenging and high risk young people in this location of London. This reflective practice group has now been running for almost two years and provides a valuable space for youth workers to process and make sense of their work with this challenging forensic population.

September 2020

FCAMHs Experience of Delivering a Virtual Reflective Consultation Group (Sophie Marshall and Ariel Nathanson, 2020)

Sophie Marshall and Ariel Nathanson reflect on how the celebrated project came to be and how it continues to thrive despite the ongoing COVID pandemic.