What is early help?
Early help is about working with children, young people and their families to offer the right support at an early stage before a small need becomes a bigger one.
A number of different professionals and organisations may be involved in the early help process to offer support in a range of areas. The goal of early help is to support families to resolve their own problems and prevent further problems in the future.
What is the family support process?
The family support process is how people who work with children and families find out what sort of support your family needs so they can offer help at the earliest opportunity.
How does the family support process work?
Finding out what is going okay, and which areas you and your family might like some support with, is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. We need to have all the pieces before we can put them together to make the whole picture, and then together we can decide the best way to help.
If you agree, your worker will use the family support form to gather the right information to share with others who can help. By doing this you should only need to tell your story once.
A team, including you and your family, will decide the best way to help, and will work with you to put together a plan of action. Those involved will agree with you what needs to be done and be clear about who is going to do it.
The feelings and wishes of you and your children should always be included.
A lead worker will be chosen. You and your family should have a say in who this person is going to be.
What does a lead worker do?
The lead worker is your main contact if there are a number of people working to support your family. The lead worker will keep you informed of what is happening and be there to answer your questions and support you through the early help process. They will also organise and be the contact for the other professionals and agencies working with you.
Who might be involved?
We will discuss with you who should be involved. This could include workers from school, health, the children’s centre or others who work with families.
You can choose to be involved in this way of working but you also have the right to not be involved at any stage. It really is your choice. Older children may want to make their own decision to be involved in the family support process or not. They have the right to make this decision.
Who will see information about my family?
As a rule the information on your family support form will not be shared with anyone else unless you agree for us to do so. However, there may be times when people working with you have a duty to share information. For example:
- If we need to find out urgently if you or someone else is at risk of harm
- To help stop a crime