Sometimes, families may require some extra help due to the difficulties that may arise from childhood, parenting and family life. We all face complications at some point, and it is completely normal to reach out, however finding the right source of support is not always easy. At Stonebroom Primary and Nursery School, we have an Early Help Offer in place and a Family Support Worker to aid you at such times.
What is Early Help?
Early Help is support given to children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge. Whilst these services can be delivered to all of the above, the main priority is to improve outcomes for children. The aim is to intervene where there is evidence of emerging needs in order to prevent escalation to higher level services. Addressing these needs at an early stage can reduce risk factors and increase protective factors in a child’s life. Effective Early Help relies on working in partnership with families; furthermore, collaboration and information sharing with other professionals, local organisations and agencies (also known as multi-agency working).
There are many reasons for Early Help and the list is not finite. These can include: education, attendance, behaviour, relationships, finance, housing, staying safe, health and well-being.
If a family feels they are in need of support, they can contact the Family Support Worker for a discussion, who may give advice, implement interventions or signpost to services. If the Family Support Worker feels more intensive support is necessary, they will contact the relevant agencies and/or assess the family’s needs through an Early Help Assessment, upon gaining consent.
What is an Early Help Assessment?
An Early Help Assessment (EHA) is the local assessment in Derby and Derbyshire that is used by all agencies working with children and their families. The Threshold Document will also be drawn upon as part of this to help decide the level of need and what kind of support is required. This can make sure that decisions are made and action is taken at the earliest opportunity to better the situation. The Family Support Worker's involvement sits between Level 1 (Universal) and 2 (Emerging) of the thresholds. A summary of this document, showing a breakdown of each threshold, can be seen at the bottom of this page.
An Early Help Assessment starts with an Early Help conversation, whereby you discuss your family situation with the Family Support Worker. There is no judgement from them, it is simply an opportunity for you to be open and honest, whilst being listened to and respected. Then, an Early Help Assessment could be recommended, which looks at the family as a whole, based on a holistic view. This involves identification of the strengths and needs of a child or young person, and the development of an action plan with targets that address those needs. The purpose of the process is to empower the family to help themselves and accept the support offered to them, before their situation deteriorates and the choice is taken away from them as other services intervene.
What happens next?
The next steps will be agreed on and priorities will be established. It is vital that the feelings of both the child or young person and the family are considered so they are able to work as a team with the Family Support Worker. If consent is given, the completed Early Help Assessment is sent to the local Early Help team. Up to a month after, a TAF meeting may be conducted.
What is a TAF meeting?
A Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting is where the family and the professionals involved discuss the decisions that were made in the Early Help Assessment and the additional support services needed. The Early Help Assessment and TAF action plan are reviewed to measure progress against the agreed targets and towards the intended outcomes. Reviews tend to take place every 6 weeks to give the family a sufficient amount of time to achieve what they set out to do and their needs are met.
Stonebroom Primary and Nursery School maintains close contact with feeder schools to work collaboratively in the best interests of your child.
If you have any questions regarding Early Help, please contact our Family Support Worker.
Family Support Worker
Our Family Support Worker is Mr James. Please see the attached letter below for details on his role and how to contact him.
The link below will take you to Derbyshire's community directory, where you can search for a range of support and services that are on offer for families:
If you are concerned that a child is suffering or at risk of significant harm, please report to Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190. If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.