The Croft Child and Family Unit provides intensive in-patient and day-patient mental health services for children under 13 alongside an integrated educational programme. We have more extensive information on The Croft available on our website here.

How this service can help you

The Croft Child and Family Unit has been established in Cambridge for more than 30 years. It is the only unit in the UK offering specialist residential mental health treatment for children with their parents and siblings – a whole family approach. The Croft provides assessment and treatment for children with complex developmental and/or psychiatric disorders and children presenting with severe emotional and behavioural problems.

Our comprehensive in-depth, evidence-based assessment helps us to understand the complex difficulties of each individual child and family and to tailor interventions appropriately. After assessment, children and families are offered a wide range of individualised programmes:

  • Intensive family therapy
  • Group therapy (both for parents and children)
  • Multi-family group therapy
  • Educational rehabilitation
  • Attachment therapies (Watch, Wait and Wonder and Mellow Parenting)
  • Intensive behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Individual and dyadic music therapy
  • Medication
  • Psychoeducation
  • Child psychotherapy
  • Re-feeding and intensive dietetic support for children with severe eating disorders 

Young people at all of our inpatient units are taught by the staff of the Pilgrim PRU which was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.
Find out more about the rating here, and more about the school here.
The team liaises closely with community services to ensure that children continue to receive appropriate support after discharge.
We work closely with the National Youth Advocacy Service to ensure children have a voice and are involved in their care.


Facilities available

The Croft Child and Family Unit is a friendly and homely environment, situated on the Ida Darwin Site at Fulbourn, a village about five miles south of Cambridge city centre in peaceful and pleasant surroundings.

We have 12 residential places – children and their families are resident at the Croft from Monday to Friday and return home at weekends. Our extended care packages include working with the family at home before admission and outreach support after discharge. All children and their families are supported by a care co-ordinator.

Visiting times for families and friends: Please visit after 3pm

Travel expenses can be paid in some circumstances - for example, to people on low incomes and those receiving certain benefits.

How do I access this service?

Since April 2013 the service has been directly commissioned by NHS England as a specialised service. Referrals are usually made by clinicians in community child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) services but we are happy to discuss possible referrals with GPs and other professionals and to advise on how to access our service. All referrals need to be supported by the appropriate community child and adolescent mental health service (CAMH).

The Croft is part of a small national network of units – the majority of our referrals come from the eastern region, but we can accept referrals from elsewhere in the country. Referrers will need to agree funding with their commissioners prior to referral.


Where is it?

The Croft Child and Family Unit, Ida Darwin, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5EE.


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Contact the service

Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

Who provides this service?

The Croft Child and Family Unit is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s Children’s Division and is part of the Tier 4 acute care child and adolescent mental health pathway.

The highly specialised multi-disciplinary team includes consultant psychiatrist, clinical psychologists, nurses, teachers, social worker, health care assistants, music therapists, occupational therapists, family therapists, outreach workers, dietician, and the administrative and housekeeping teams.

Who is this service for?

The Croft Child and Family Unit accepts referrals for children aged 0-12 years and their families, whose needs cannot be met by community services such as:

  • mental health problems such as complex developmental or psychiatric disorders
  • severe emotional and behavioural problems


Further information

The page was last updated on 06 November 2017 by kbuggy.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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