'Early Help' is an umbrella term that describes the work of many agencies engaged with children and families and focuses on how we can help people to do things for themselves and build on strengths within families. If we can get this right early on, at the right time, we get the opportunity to help people with areas of their life they may be struggling with, which sets people up for a better long-term future. It is also about providing support at any and every stage of a child's life: pre-birth, during pregnancy, childhood and/or early adulthood.
Early Help is voluntary and with consent. Before support is undertaken, informed consent will need to be gained from the family. Informed consent means the family are able to fully understand the reasons for consent.
Children, young people and families with additional needs will be supported through the use of the Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support. Additional details can be found
A request for Early Help can be made by any practitioner who is supporting a family and by the family themselves. Families can contact their locality Early Help Team below:
Forest of Dean - 01452 328048 firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Help practitioners may contact families via the telephone, letter or email following an Early Help request for service and single consent form.
The Early Help practitioners include:
Early Help Co-ordinators who provide support for practitioners who are working with children and families to meet their needs through the Graduated Pathway
Community Social Workers work with organisations to provide a social work perspective on families they are supporting. This supports practitioners to ensure families receive the right level of support and act as a link between Children’s Social Care and the community
Early Help Partnership Managers support partnership work between organisations in communities to support the development of resources available to children and families. They attend District Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to make sure there is a focus on Early Help for vulnerable families alongside wider community safety concerns.
Advisory Teaching Service (ATS) The ATS work closely with schools and early years settings to identify pupils who are likely to experience difficulties due to their social and emotional needs.