This article reports the piloting of an approach to apply the principles of child involvement to service experience research. The approach aimed to systematically explore the service concerns of children who had received mental health care. Eleven children who had previously attended mental health services took part in focus groups to discuss their experience. Thematic content analysis of transcribed interviews revealed 13 themes that potentially could help to identify children's key concerns and clarify the notion of child-centred care. The themes suggested the potential importance of children's expectations about therapy, and their concerns relating to the process, content and outcome may be important to their experience of care. The possible implications for child-centred clinical practice and service provision are discussed.