A write-up on the Child Psychiatric Clinic (CPC) in 1972 by Head/CPC explained the rationale for changing its name from "Child Guidance Clinic" was to address popular misconceptions that the clinic only gave guidance to parents and teachers dealing with difficult children. The clinic's true functions include providing comprehensive assessment, investigation, diagnosis and treatment of children with emotional and behavioural problems .
In 1975, there was a proposal for a Parent-Child Unit (PCU) to be set up within the School Health Services (SHS) to deal with behavioural issues in students. Head/CPC was concerned that PCU staff may be "untrained in child psychiatric work" and offered to train SHS staff to detect emotional and behavioural problems in children, treat simpler cases, and refer the more difficult or complex cases to the CPC. He felt that a separate PCU within SHS was unnecessary since the PCU would be duplicating some of the functions of the CPC. SHS pointed out that the PCU's paediatricians and medical social workers would be better placed to deal with behavioural issues arising from social causes, such as family dynamics, parenting issues, or social pressures. They agreed that children with psychiatric issues would be referred to the CPC .
A proposal by the Head/Child Psychiatric Clinic in 1974 to house the Child Psychiatric Clinic (CPC) within Alexandra Hospital was approved by the Committee on Project Evaluations (COPE) on 10 Oct 1979 .
However, plans changed in November 1979 when the then-Minister for Health Dr Toh Chin Chye recommended re-locating the CPC to the Institute of Health instead, to integrate with School Health Services and Psychological Testing Services .
A brief on the Child Psychiatric Clinic (CPC) included a proposal for a "Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (DCAP)" to expand its scope and upgrade psychiatric services. Then, most patients were seen at the CPC for emotional and behavioural disorders. Serious mental illnesses, such as psychosis, were less often encountered.
The CPC started to accept referrals for "disturbed children" in Children's Homes under the then-Ministry of Community Development .
The new Head, Dr Cai Yiming proposed reverting to the old name, "Child Guidance Clinic". While it did not fully reflect the specialised nature of services provided, he was of the view that the name would make it more acceptable to patients .
The Ministry of Health agreed that the new clinic at Woodbridge Hospital could be named "Child Guidance Clinic" while the Clinic at Institute of Health (IOH) would retain the old name until the new IOH was opened. At that time, a new name could be considered .
The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (DCAP) then consisted of two major divisions – Specialist Outpatient Services and Inpatient Services .
Future plans included a Crisis Intervention Service to respond quickly to psychiatric emergencies in general hospitals; an Eating Disorder Clinic; a Liaison Child Psychiatry Team to service paediatric departments in various hospitals; as well as parent education, social skills training, and stress management programmes .