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Children and young people's health and wellbeing

Safeguarding at risk children

Find out how to spot children at risk of harm and how to report it.

Safeguarding at risk children

School’s out, get active

School’s out, get active is a programme of free and affordable activities for children and young people aged from 5 to 17 in Barking and Dagenham.

The programme runs throughout school holidays and includes a wide range of activities including:

  • cooking classes
  • rugby
  • fencing
  • dance
  • basketball
  • dodgeball

Activities are free, but places on the programme need to be booked in advance with the Healthy Lifestyles Team.

Book your place

Contact us

Healthy Lifestyles Team

020 8724 8018

Parent and infant mental health services

Parent and infant mental health services (PIMHS) can provide assessment and intervention sessions to children and their families where there are concerns regarding a child’s emotional well-being or mental health.

Contact us

The Child and Family Centre, 79 Axe Street, Barking IG11 7LZ

0300 555 1035


Support for children’s emotional and mental health

Many children and young people feel worried, sad or low at times. People at school, such as teachers, counsellors, the SENCO or the school nurse, can offer help and advice.

School counselling service

There are school counsellors in some primary and secondary schools. Counsellors also offer advice to school staff who have concerns about a child or young person’s well-being. Referrals are by the school or the child and adolescent mental health service (CAHMS).

Contact us

The Children and Family Centre, 79 Axe Street, Barking IG11 7LZ 

0300 5551035

Emotional health and wellbeing in schools

Find out how we support emotional health and wellbeing in schools

Child and adolescent mental health service (CAHMS)

CAMHS offers support to children and young people (up to the age of 18) with emotional and behavioural difficulties. CAHMS staff are trained to help young people improve relationships, manage behaviour and bereavement. They can also work with families and carers. Your GP, health visitor, paediatrician, speech and language therapist, SENCO or educational psychologist can refer you.

Contact us

The Child and Family Centre, 79 Axe Street, Barking IG11 7LZ

0300 555 1035


Eating disorder service

If your child has an eating disorder, you and your child can get support from the Eating Disorder Service, which will provide psychological advice, dietician support and medical assessment and support. Referrals can come through your doctor or a medical professional such as a school nurse.

Contact us

The Hope Wing

Porters Avenue Health Clinic, 234 Porters Avenue, Dagenham RM8 2EQ

0300 555 1216

Early intervention psychosis service

Supports young people aged 14 -35 to manage mental health issues in relation to hallucinations, paranoia and coping with everyday life. The aim is to promote recovery, remain well and return to normal activities. Referrals are from CAHMS.

Contact us

First Floor, Oasis House, 28-30 Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood, Romford RM3 0QA

0300 555 1030

Brookside Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit

If your child is experiencing severe psychological, behavioural and emotional difficulties, Brookside Residential Unit provides assessment, care and treatment for 24/7, 365 days a year, as well as support to return home. Young people with mild to moderate learning difficulties can be referred if they also have a mental health issue. There is a school on site. Referrals are from CAHMS.

Contact us

107a Barley Lane, Goodmayes, Ilford 1G3 8XQ

0300 555 1156

Young carers

If you are under 18 and help care for somebody at home, you are what we call a young carer.

The person you care for could be:

  • your mum or dad
  • a sister or brother
  • another member of your family

As a young carer, you need support too. Our 'Young carers' page has information about the support that may be available.

Support for young carers

Healthy lifestyles

Our Change4Life healthy lifestyles programme is for children and teenagers. It runs for 12 weeks and offers families useful and practical nutritional tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Everything is taught in a fun, inclusive and interactive way using class discussion and resources to make nutrition exciting for everyone.

Family programme

Sessions for families are once a week and last for two hours. The first hour is used to learn about nutrition while the second is for taking part in physical activity. The physical activity session is a multi-sport session inclusive for all abilities.

We also offer families a free gym membership while on the programme and a discounted rate afterwards so activity levels can be maintained.

Teenagers programme

Sessions for teenagers are once a week and last for one hour.

There is also the option of a free gym membership while on the programme and a discounted rate afterwards so that physical activity levels can be maintained.


  • aged between 5 and 12 years old (for the family programme)
  • aged between 13 and 17 years old (for the teenager programme)
  • over the 91st percentile in weight
  • attend a school or live in Barking and Dagenham
  • committed to making healthier changes

Weekly nutrition topics

  • getting started (pre-measurements)
  • introduction
  • sugar swaps
  • wholegrains
  • portion size
  • 60 active minutes
  • cut back fat
  • cooking
  • thinking eating out
  • supermarket
  • reward session
  • graduation (post-measurements)

It's not about weight loss

These programmes are about leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy balanced diet and the right amount of physical activity.

Each programme aims to create a permanent change in behaviour by looking at areas such as the motivations for:

  • change
  • goal setting
  • external
  • internal triggers.

How to apply

To take part in one of the programmes visit our Healthy Lifestyle page or contact the team at:

Health centres

Child and Family Centre

79 Axe Street, Barking IG11 7LZ
020 8522 9600

Broad Street Medical Centre

020 8596 4400
Morland Road, Dagenham RM10 9HU

Chadwell Heath Health Centre

Ashton Gardens, Romford RM6 6RT
020 3644 2500

Church Elm Lane Health Centre

Church Elm Lane, Dagenham RM10 9RR
020 8465 3000

Five Elms Health Centre

Five Elms Road, Dagenham RM9 5TT
020 3644 2250

Julia Engwell Health Centre

Woodward Road, Dagenham RM9 4SR
020 8276 7200

Marks Gate Clinic

Lawn Farm Grove, Romford RM6 5LL
020 8465 3460

Orchard Health Centre

Gascoigne Road, Barking IG11 7RS
020 3644 2172

Oxlow Lane Health Centre

281 Oxlow Lane, Dagenham RM10 7YU
020 3644 2900

Porters Avenue Health Centre

234 Porters Avenue, Dagenham RM8 2EQ
020 8522 9800

Thames View Clinic

Bastable Avenue, Barking IG11 0LG
020 3644 2676

Upney Lane Walk-In Centre

Vicarage Drive, Barking IG11 7NR
020 3644 2020

Upney Lane walk-in centre, Barking Community Hospital

NHS walk-in centres offer convenient access to a range of treatment for people of all ages. You do not need an appointment to attend and it is open seven days a week, every day of the year.

The Upney walk-in centre treats:

  • coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms
  • minor cuts and wounds (dressings and care)
  • muscle and joint injuries (eg strains and sprains)
  • skin complaints (eg rashes, sunburn and head lice)
  • stomach ache, indigestion, constipation, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • minor infections
  • minor injuries
  • emergency contraception

Contact us

Upney Lane walk-in centre, Upney Lane, Barking IG11 9YD

020 8924 6262

NHS Choices

NHS Choices is the online front door to the NHS. It is the country’s biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health.

NHS Choices


The immunisation service co-ordinates vaccination and immunisation for all school-aged children and young people registered with a GP in Barking and Dagenham. The Community Immunisation Team is key to meeting immunisation targets, specifically around BCG and young person scheduled immunisations, including DTP and HPV vaccines.

You or your child can refer to the service yourselves. Alternatively, referrals can be made by GPs or healthcare professionals.

Contact us

Porters Avenue Health Centre

234 Porters Avenue, Dagenham RM8 2EQ

020 8522 9885

Community Dental Service

The Community Dental Service provides NHS treatment if your child is unable to attend a dentist because they:

  • have physical or medical needs
  • suffer from mental illness
  • are housebound
  • are nervous about dental treatment

All clinics are accessible to wheelchair-users and disabled patients and there is special equipment to provide care for people who cannot transfer from their wheelchair.

Referrals are usually made by:

  • dentists
  • doctors
  • Health visitors
  • district nurses
  • other healthcare workers and carers

Contact us

Dental Office, Vicarage Field Health Centre, Vicarage Road, Barking IG11 7NR

020 8276 7028

Harold Wood polyclinic

The Harold Wood polyclinic is open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year (including weekends and all public holidays).

Please note that after 7pm (or earlier if we are experiencing high volumes of patients) we may not be able to assist you at the Polyclinic.

Where appropriate you will be assessed by a clinician and either advised to return the next day or be redirected to another health care provider.

Contact us

Harold Wood Polyclinic, St.Clements Avenue (off Gubbins Lane through the Kings Park development), Harold Wood RM3 0AR

01708 574000

Sexual health

Hospitals and clinics

You can get free, accurate and confidential advice or help about your sexual health in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering.

Sexual health services

GPs and pharmacies

All GPs and pharmacists will offer you support and advice on sexual health.

GPs can give you contraception, chlamydia testing and free condoms.

Most pharmacists will be able to give you free emergency contraception and some of them can offer chlamydia testing.

Find your local GP or pharmacy

Looking after your child’s teeth

Make teeth cleaning part of your child’s daily routine from a young age and they will have healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Brushing your child’s teeth

Parents and carers can begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as their first one comes through. Start by gently massaging the tooth with a soft toothbrush and water. Like adults, children should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day.

Although children like to be independent, it is recommended that mums and dads supervise their children while they brush their teeth until they are around seven or eight years old. This is because children can often become distracted and not brush as thoroughly as they should.

Choosing the right toothpaste

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is used in toothpaste to help keep teeth strong. When buying toothpaste, make sure it contains at least 1000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride – you can find this information on the packaging. Children under the age of three only need a smear of toothpaste on their toothbrushes and children over the age of three need a pea-sized amount.

Visiting the dentist

Children can visit the dentist for free as soon as their first tooth comes through and can continue to visit the dentist for free until they are 18 years old or 19 if they are in full time education. Find your nearest dentist and register your family using on NHS Choices.

Find a dentist

NHS Choices has lots more advice on keeping children’s teeth clean, including tooth-friendly foods and drinks.

Children and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) integrated needs assessment

We carry out needs assessments for a range of health conditions, to help us shape local services according to local needs.

Nationally there is a renewed focus on child and adolescent mental health with national government launching a mental health strategy Future in Mind in 2015 and The Five Year Forward View: Mental Health in 2016.

Central to Future in Mind is building resilience in our children and adolescents so that they can better protect their mental health.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Needs Assessment was done to better understand the Barking and Dagenham picture of need and the vision for improving services by:

  • understanding the mental health needs of the children and young people living in the borough
  • understanding the services that respond to these needs currently
  • understanding the gaps in current provision
  • responding to needs based on robust evidence

There has been an increasing focus on child and adolescent mental health in the borough. This needs assessment provides the information to map the way forward: