Skip to content
Person smiling

The THRIVE Framework for system change

The THRIVE Framework for system change is an integrated, person centred and needs led approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and their families.

It was developed through a collaboration between the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

The THRIVE Framework provides a set of principles for creating coherent and resource-efficient communities of mental health and wellbeing support for children, young people and families. It aims to talk about mental health and mental health wellbeing help and support in a common language that everyone understands. The Framework is needs-led which means that mental health needs are defined by the children, young people and their families, alongside professionals, through shared decision making. Needs are not based on severity, diagnosis or care pathways. 

The framework thinks about the mental health and wellbeing needs of children, young people and families through five different needs based groupings:

Children playing

National i-THRIVE community of practice event

7 March 2024

Hosted by the National i-THRIVE programme, this in-person event provides an opportunity to hear how the THRIVE Framework has been implemented to provide better mental health support for children and young people.

Throughout the day, you’ll hear best practice examples from across the sector and learn how to overcome the potential challenges and barriers to implementing the THRIVE Framework across complex systems.

Emphasis is placed on the prevention and promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the whole population. Children, young people and their families are empowered through active involvement in decisions about their care, which is fundamental to the approach.

It is for:


The national i-THRIVE programme works with over 70 areas in England to improve services for children and young people’s mental health using the THRIVE Framework for system change.

Areas are supported through implementation via the i-THRIVE Toolkit and also through the i-THRIVE Academy, a set of learning and development modules created for cross-sector professionals that support children and young people’s mental health.

Join our community of practice

Join our community of organisations and local areas that are using the i-THRIVE approach to implementation to implement the key principles of the THRIVE framework.

Our partners

The Tavistock and Portman, Dartmouth, i-THRIVE, Anna Freud and UCL logos