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Supporting Families

What is Early Help?

Early Help is taking action early to provide support where problems are emerging for children, young people and their families.

Early help support may be provided at any point in a child or young person’s life. The sooner the family receives the support, the sooner they are able to improve their situation and prevent the need for prolonged support.

Early Help is here to find out what is working well for families and what areas they might be worried about; it can help to build on families’ strengths and identify any needs where support might be needed. It is an approach that brings people together from different teams and services who work together with the whole family. The main focus is to improve outcomes for children.

What it is not

Early Help is not social services.  It is putting you in touch with the right services to help.

Why would I need Early Help?

The type of things that Early Help can support you with include:

  • Worries about your child’s health development or behaviour.
  • You might be worried about how they are doing at school.
  • You might have worries about money or housing and how that is affecting you.
  • Your child and family may be affected by domestic abuse, drugs, alcohol, ill health or crime.

Early Help can give you the tools & support to solve challenges or problems you are experiencing with help from others where needed.

How do I get help?

As children spend a lot of time at school, staff may notice a need for support and suggest Early Help to you. This is done with your consent and a member of staff will help you with the process.

However, you can ask for support yourself.

You can talk with someone who you’re familiar with - a teacher, health professional or support worker who might be able to help.

You can also contact your local Family Centre and ask to speak to a Duty Worker who will be able to provide lots of advice around Early Help and how it might be able to support you. 

The Early Help Assessment

In order to get the right type of help, an Early Help Assessment is completed; this is a form but will be completed with a person you are familiar with.  At our school, that is Mrs Parton.

The Early Help Assessment forms a key part of the Early Help Strategy and is a simple way to help identify the needs of children, young people and their families and make a plan to meet those needs.

It is designed to be a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Dudley who are delivering Early Help. It is a standardised approach so that all children and families in Dudley have the same experience of identifying their needs, strengths and challenges. It also means that all agencies and partners are operating the same system which ensures greater consistency.

Read more about Dudley’s Early Help Strategy

Watch a short video about Dudley Early Help Process Video