Early Help is a way of thinking and working together between services with families that have additional, multiple or complex needs.
We are all early help. Early Help is not a service. Anyone working with children or families is part of Early Help at the point problems are identified. The wellbeing of children, young people and families is everyone’s responsibility.
Early Help is simply the collection of all services available in Hull and how they work with families when there are additional or more complex needs before the need for Children’s Social Care (CSC) and safeguarding procedures.
There will be times when you and your family need support and times when you are not sure what you need to do to make things better. Early Help can support you at these times and make problems easier to understand and quicker to solve.
Why work with the whole family?
If any member of the family - a child, young person or adult has a problem it generally has an effect on other people in the family. If the whole family is supported, it's more likely the situation will improve.
How will we help you?
First Step – Talking with you
With your consent, a 'lead practitioner' will ask about you and your family and you will complete an Outcome Star together. This is the Early Help Assessment which is used Citywide.
They ask what is going well, are there any problems and what extra support you and your family think might help. This is done in a single session so you don't have to repeat your story to lots of different people.
You and your family will agree what is included in the assessment and you will be given a copy. Older children may feel able to discuss their situation on their own with the practitioner. A young person’s wish to keep information confidential from parents may be respected by the practitioner, were this is in the young person’s best interests and welfare.
You can speak to your lead practitioner at any time about any concerns or issues you or your family are experiencing.
Second Step - The Plan
This involves a meeting with you, your lead practitioner and other services who could help your family. This is called a Team around the Family (TAF) meeting. At this meeting, there will be a discussion about the support you need and a family action plan will be agreed.
There may be times when you or your children are asked to do something as part of the action plan.
The aim of the meeting is to get the best support for you and your family. Your lead practitioner will make sure that everyone in your TAF does what they say they will to support you.
Who work's with my family?
The TAF bring's together the different people who are able to offer support to all members of your family. This could include people from Housing, Health Visitors, School or Nurseries, Probation, Drug or Alcohol Services and a whole range of support services available through the community and voluntary sector.
Could it be confusing having all those services involved?
No, everyone involved, including you, agree on one person to act as your 'lead practitioner'. They are your main contact and support you through the whole process. They listen to your views and arrange support for you and your family.
Third Step - The Review
Everyone come's together to see how well the plan is working, if anything needs to change or if there are any extra practical help you may need.
When you, your family and your TAF feel you no longer need extra support, you can agree that the family action plan is complete and the meetings are no longer needed. At this stage the TAF close the contact, though you and your child(ren) can still be in regular contact with professionals to make sure that you continue to do well.
Who has information about me and my family?
Only practitioners who need to know about you has information about you and your family. However, there may be times when the people working with you may need to share this information.
• when they need to find out urgently if a child or young person is at risk of serious harm
• to help a child or young person who is at risk of harm
• when the adult is at risk of harm
• to help prevent or detect a serious crime
How can I find out more about accessing Early Help Support?
Speak to somebody who is currently working with you, for example a Health Professional or your child's school. You can also contact an Early Help Locality Hub on one of the numbers below directly and ask for information about Early Help.
North Locality Hub – 01482 828901
East Locality Hub – 01482 708953
West Locality Hub – 01482 305770
If you are a professional requesting Early Help Support for a family you are working with, please consult the Threshold of Need Framework and Guidance prior to completing the Early Help Request
Prior to completing the Early Help Request for Additional Support form