Who is Early Help and why is it important?

Early HelpEarly Help is not a service but a way of ‘thinking’ and ‘working’ through a collaborative approach between services with families.

Who is Early Help?

Early Help is not a service but a way of ‘thinking’ and ‘working’ through a collaborative approach between services with families. It is about prevention and earlier intervention, by providing support to families when a need is identified or as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life. This can be from the point of conception through to the teenage years, to prevent or reduce the need for statutory services.

Early help can also prevent further problems arising, for example, if it is provided as part of a support plan where a child has returned home from a period of care, or protection through Children’s Social Care. It is about working with the family by identifying their strengths whatever they may be and involving wider family members and friends building resilience to sustain change and to find their own solutions in the future.

Why is it important?

By changing the way we all work, from a late reaction to chronic and acute need, to a focus on the root causes of social problems, outcomes for children and families improve, and costly statutory interventions can be avoided. 

Principles for Prevention and Earlier Intervention.

  • Listen to the voice of children and young people to understand their journey and life experience and engage them in their own right as citizens in the design and delivery of services.
  • Whole family integrated working through knowledge and understanding of their holistic needs and the community in which they live, identifying a trusted person when needed to co-ordinate a response to multiple needs. 
  • Strengths based approach to working with families and communities recognising their skills, knowledge and experience when developing plans. 
  • Prevention and earlier intervention approaches to working that respond more quickly to risks and vulnerability to prevent escalation. 
  • Focus and emphasis on reducing the impact of parental / adult vulnerabilities and behaviour to promote better outcomes and safeguard children and young people. 
  • Involve the workforce and individual workers in understanding needs and issues of working with children, young people and families to inform practice and service delivery.
  • Deliver evidence based and research informed practice that is focused on outcomes and learning from what works promoting innovative practice.
  • Services deliver in and through Family Hubs to share resources; develop effective joint working arrangements and promote a ‘no wrong door’ approach to support family’s needs and interests.
  • Joint commissioning through pool budgets and shared resources to better understand needs; support effective planning; deliver efficient services; measure and evidence impact.