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First Steps - Early Intervention Community Psychology Service

First Steps Early Intervention Community Psychology Service,
Hackney Ark,
Downs Park Road,
E8 2FP
Telephone: 020 7683 4611


COVID-19 service update 

Current Service September 2020

  • All appointments are conducted over the phone or online except for the Quick Steps service, which are offering face to face appointments.
  • Some under 5’s work is being offered face to face where necessary.
  • First Steps are accepting referrals from professionals for Children and Young People aged 0-18 with mild to moderate mental health presentations (e.g. anxiety or low mood lasting for less than 6 months, poor self-esteem or difficulties with peer relationships).
  • These appointments are offered where a child or young person would benefit from uni-professional psychological work with a clinician. This is a short term, targeted intervention of up to 6 sessions.
  • Referral forms must be fully completed.
  • In this period we are not able to take any self-referrals.

For referrals email

For crisis families can call: 0208432 8020

Duty system running daily from Hackney Ark.

Contact number: 02070147135


CAMHS have put together the following doucuments to update and help families and young people know how to mamange their well-being and mental health, with support if needed, during the current government enforced lockdown. 

COVID-19 resources for parents-carers CAMHS (information, resources and links)

Short leaflet that helpfully identifies sources of support for a those experiencing different levels of difficulty and includes current contact numbers for a range of eventualities. 

City  Hackney CAMHS COVID Getting Help 

Who we are...

First Steps is an NHS psychology service for children and young people aged 0 – 18 years and their families.

This service works in partnership with other services. The partnership is know as the CAMHS Alliance

The aim of Fist Steps is to offer early help with any difficulties related to behaviour, emotions and relationships before they become more complicated or difficult to address.

Our team of 25 Family and Child Practitioners includes a:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Mental Health nurses
  • Assistant Psychologists
  • Administrators

Our Community Psychology Team run sessions from Children's Centres in Hackney and GP surgeries across Hackney to try to ensure there is easy access to the service. 

What we do...

The First Steps Team offers a range of services and can help parents and families with the following kinds of problems:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Tantrums
  • Selective eating
  • Toilet training
  • Relationships with brothers and sisters and other children the same age
  • Difficulties with your relationship with your child
  • Disagreements in the family about parenting 
  • Worries following an illness or bereavement or issues that are affecting the whole family
  • Changes at home or school that have affected a child's emotions and behaviour

First Steps can also help children and young people with:

  • Fears, unhappiness, anger, anxiety or other difficult feelings
  • Being withdrawn, being aggressive, taking risks or other difficult behaviours
  • Feelings related to parental illness or health problems
  • Changes within the family e.g. Separation
  • Relationships with family, friends or teachers

Watch this short film of interviews with young people talking about their experience of having support from the service. 

Record Last Updated on: 25/09/2020

Time / Date Details

Time of day


Session Information

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Other Details



Who is eligible?

We work with children and adolescents:

  • Aged 0-18 years
  • With mild to moderate mental health difficulties
  • With a home address in Hackney or with a Hackney GP
  • Where the legally responsible parent/guardian has given consent for referral
  • Who have psychological difficulties which are likely to be helped by a short-term psychological intervention

Urgent safeguarding concerns should be directed to Children Social Care
Hackney phone number: 020 8356 5500
City phone number: 0208 356 2701

Advice about self-harm relating to children / young people can be sought from: Specialist CAMHS

First Steps are unable to accept referrals for families who are currently open to Children’s Social Care.

If you have concerns about the emotional well-being of a child who is open to Children’s Social Care, please discuss with their allocated Social Worker who will be able to co-ordinate appropriate support.

Referral required?


Referral Details

CAMHS operates a "No wrong door" policy and works in partnership with other services to make sure the most suitable service is linked to the person making the referral. 

Self-referrals from young people, parents and families are accepted.

Please call 0207 683 4611 between 9.00am  – 5pm.

The service may not imediately have a clinician who can talk to you but someone will get back to you shortly after your call. 

Professionals supporting familes can refer using the Referral Form available via the website linked to this entry. 

What to do if you have a complaint

Complaints procedure supported by PALS The service can also be contacted on: 020 8510 5113 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm or via email:

How to Get Here

Buses: 38, 55, 56, 149, 243, 277                    

Train: Old Street, Hoxton

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

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