Early Help for families
What is Early Help for families?
Early Help is a way of describing the extra support your family can receive if you need it.
Early Help brings together workers who will support the whole of your family to try to make things improve for everyone. You may know some of these workers already. Early Help could include support with parenting, employment, anti-social behaviour, school attendance and emotional wellbeing.
It is a voluntary service and we need your consent to give it.
Why would I need Early Help?
You might want Early Help for a wide number of reasons. It may be that you want help to change things for your family before a problem becomes more serious or you might want help to stop a problem before it even starts.
How does Early Help work?
Step 1: Getting help
Have a chat with a teacher, health professional or support worker. They can help you look at the types of support that are available and who might be able to help.
Your local Community Family Hub also has services and support for families and children.
Step 2: Talking with you
If you decide to take up Early Help you will be given a lead worker. The worker will listen to you, your children and family members to find out what matters to you. The worker will ask about any difficulties that you and your family are having. They will also want to know what is going well.
The worker will ask about the extra support that you think you need and tell you what is available.
You can say no to Early Help support and if things change, or you change your mind, you can ask for help again.
Step 3: the Early Help Plan
You and your family will be invited to a meeting with the people who could help your family. This could include school workers, health workers, Community Family Hub workers, and a wide range of other services. This team of workers is called a Team around the Family (TAF).
At your meeting with the TAF, you and the workers will decide together what support you need, look at what is available, and create a plan saying who will do what and when.
Together you will all agree on a lead practitioner. This person will be your main contact who will keep you informed, listen to your families views and support you during the whole process.
Step 4: the review
After your plan has started, you and the TAF will come back together to see how well the plan is working and if anything needs to change. If there are still things that your family needs support with Early Help will carry on and another review date will be set. If things have improved enough already you may all agree for the Early Help to stop.
What are the benefits of having a Team around the Family?
Families often say that they have to speak to lots of workers and repeat the same information about what’s happening, or that it seems as if all of the workers they talk to don’t speak to each other. Because you will have a team working with your family they can share information (with your permission) to make sure that you receive the most useful help to meet the need of your family.
Does this mean Children Social Care will be involved?
Not necessarily. There could however be times when the people working with you need to share information with children social care to make sure your family are safe.
This could be because:
- A child or young person is at imminent risk of serious harm
- A child or young person is at risk of harm and needs help
- An adult is at risk of harm or needs help
- A crime could be prevented or detected
There may also be times when Social Care are the ones who recommend Early Help for your family in the first place.
What happens when I stop needing Early Help support?
When you and the TAF agree that things have improved the lead practitioner will give you information about other services you can still use. If at any time in the future you feel your family needs support, you can ask for Early Help again.
How can I find out more?
If you think you might want Early Help you can get in touch using the contact details at the top right of this page.
You can also find out more by talking to a worker who is in contact with you and your family. This could be someone from school, the Community Family Hub or a health worker.
What other services are available?
The Newcastle Support Directory can offer information and advice about local services that can help you. It is also a good place to look to find childcare and apply for a school place.
Amazing Start which focusses on services from conception to two years in areas as part of Sure Start. This includes play and early learning sessions, health and wellbeing, parenting skills and support, antenatal support and breastfeeding.
Early Help family support for families with children up to the age of 19 in need of additional support including anti-social behaviour, school attendance and emotional wellbeing.