As part of the UK's National Health Service modernisation agenda, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland set up a Service Improvement Unit (SIU). The aim of the SIU was to identify key areas in the Health and Social Services that needed improvement and to provide a structured framework in which to achieve the necessary developments.

A key area identified was the interface between children in care and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. It was believed that a lot of work needed to be undertaken to identify those children and young people in the "care system" that had "mental health" difficulties and to ensure they received the necessary interventions in an appropriate and timely manner.

In order to take forward this improvement, a multi-disciplinary project team was set up under the SIU scheme to look at this issue. The project's title was "Knowing to Care!" which reflects the basic notion that the more we know about the children and young people the better we are caring for them.