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Adolescent At-risk and Forensic Service (AAFS)

How our service can help you

The Adolescent At-Risk & Forensic Service (AAFS) is a flexible and responsive service offering evidence-based assessment, consultation and treatment for young people who are engaged in, or present significant risk of offending behaviour. This can include, but is not limited to, serious violence, fire-setting, and sexually harmful behaviour.

Young people who present significant risk of harm to self are also seen. For example, those exposed to harm through risk-taking behaviour or exploitation. Many of our clients will present with emerging personality and/or neurodevelopmental disorders.

We often treat young people who have exhausted the resources of their local CAMHS and still need assistance. We accept referrals from within the Trust, Greater London boroughs and nationally.

  • Service Type: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (National and Specialist) Service Borough Covers: National (Child and Adolescent services) Treatment type: Outpatient
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Maudsley Hospital Email: Phone Number: 020 3228 5011 Fax Number: 020 3228 3686
  • Disabled Access:
    • Wheelchair accessible building
    • Ground floor therapy rooms
    • Accessible toilets on all levels
    • Lift access to the 1stfloor.
  • Address: The Michael Rutter Centre
    Maudsley Hospital
    De Crespigny Park,
    SE5 8AZ
  • Business Hours/Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Other essential information

  • Conditions: Autism, Conduct disorder, Depression, Learning disabilities, Neuropsychiatry , Personality disorders, Psychosexual, Self-harm


Our assessments include:

  • Assessment and formulation of offending behaviour
  • Assessment of ability to effectively participate within court proceedings
  • Specialist neuropsychological assessment (for example, intellectual functioning, executive function)
  • Diagnostic assessment (for example, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disability)
  • Structured risk assessment (for example, sexual and/or violent offending, fire-setting, child sexual exploitation)
  • AIM3 assessment and intervention for harmful sexual behaviour
  • Functional assessment of behaviour


Our interventions include:

  • Psychological interventions offered are bespoke for each individual, adapted for their individual needs.
  • Evidence based offence-focused interventions specialising in violent and/or sexual offending (for example, Good Lives Model/AIM3)
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Attachment based family therapy (ABFT)
  • Positive behaviour support plans (PBS)
  • Evidence-based parenting programme for the parents/carers of adolescents with serious behavioural problems, or who present a significant risk of harm to self and others.
  • Telephone support during office hours for young people and their parents or carers
  • Consultation, supervision and training packages for other services

Eligibility criteria

  • Children and young people up to 18 years old
  • Risk of future violent and/or sexual offences and/or fire-setting
  • High risk of harm to self
  • Risk of child sexual and/or criminal exploitation


Our outcomes include:

  • Comprehensive risk assessment, formulation and risk management planning
  • Reduction in severity and frequency of re-offending
  • Reduction in mental health problems
  • Re-engagement with education and training
  • Improved parenting skills and family functioning
  • Reduction in placement breakdown
  • Reduction in admissions to hospital or secure settings
  • Identification of risk factors and their impact on offending, for example, whether mental health issues might be viewed as mitigating factors
  • Recommendations regarding effective participation in court proceedings
  • Advice regarding placement, sentencing and treatment needs

Care Options

Care option: Multiagency consultation

Unit: Per consultation

Description: Consultation to other professionals/teams about their client with a brief summary report outlining discussion and recommendations.


Care option: Assessment, comprehensive

Unit: Per assessment

Description: This assessment is for high risk cases, and may include a combination of standardised cognitive assessments that examine neuropsychological profiles, diagnostic assessments for relevant mental health problems (for example, autism), and a comprehensive risk assessment and formulation.


Care option: Assessment, complex

Unit: Per assessment

Description: This assessment includes any combination of the above assessments with the young person and their parents or carers and thorough review of background documentation.


Care option: Complex court assessment

Unit: Per hour

Description: Court reports are charged at an hourly rate and assessments will vary according to individual requirements. We are able to work within Legal Aid rates.


Care option: Treatment

Unit: Per month

Description: Individually tailored treatment sessions are delivered on a weekly basis with additional telephone support available during office hours. Treatment options include offence-focused CBT, dialectical behaviour therapy, and group sessions. Treatment will be adapted to meet the needs of individual children/families.

Our experts

Dr Kate Johnston, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Head of Service - Read more

Dr Rhianna Watts, Principle Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Lorna Taylor, Principle Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Ermione Neophytou, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Kelly Charge, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Eleanor Hodgson, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Lindsay Smith, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Rachel Quinn, Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Ottilie Sedgwick, Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Susie Meisel, Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Fabio Massaro, Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Ms Laura Morton, Forensic Psychologist - Read more