A GRANT is due to be awarded to North Yorkshire County Council as part of a trial to improve the way young people with mental health problems in the care system are dealt with.

North Yorkshire will make up one of just nine local authorities across the country who are set to benefit from the grant.

The county will receive a share of £650,000, which will go towards improving the efficiency of how children and young people, who enter care are assessed.

Councillor Janet Sanderson executive member for the children and young people's Service at North Yorkshire County Council said: “We listened to young people when they asked us to help support their mental health needs.

“Being part of this project is a great opportunity to ensure each child gets help that is right for them, at the right time.

"As we roll out this pilot, we will continue to listen to young people every step of the way.”

The trial is expected to run for two years, which will be monitored to ensure those entering the care system are assessed by the "right people."

The funding, direct from central government, will pay for the trialling of a new process which will look to reduce the number of appointments children have to attend, before they are fully assessed.

The new process also hopes to improve existing relationships already established between children and their case workers.

Shannon Downing, 22, chair of the Young People's Council, which was originally set up as a voice group for those who have experienced care in North Yorkshire, said it was important to have one person "consistently" involved whilst going through care.

She said: "The main thing is having a person who stays with you throughout.

"Having lots of different faces can be quite distressing for some people, especially if they have anxiety or different mental health issues."

Ms Downing was in care between the ages of 12 and 16.

She added: “The other important issue is getting the right support for each individual – getting them on the right track and making them feel happier.

"If this pilot is successful, then I just want for young people who want it, to have the support they need – that’s a big tick in the box."

The trial will form several other initiatives which North Yorkshire County Council are working on with its children and young peoples service. The council said psychologists in social work teams were already recruited as part of its Psychologically Informed Partnership Approach.