Early Help is a way of thinking and working together between services, with families that have additional, multiple or complex needs.
Who is Early Help?
We are all Early Help. Early Help is not a service. Anybody working with children or families is part of Early Help, at the point that 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 Doncaster 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.
Why is it important?
By changing the way we all work, from a late reaction to chronic and acute need, to a focus on the root causes of social problems, outcomes for children and families improve, and costly statutory interventions can be avoided.
Principles and practice of Early Help
- Parents (mothers, father or carers) are children's first source of support, along with universal services. Parents can find out more (or you can support them to know more) about the services available to them and their families through the Families Information Service at www.doncaster.gov.uk/fis
- A child or young person’s individual voice and needs are seen as a ‘right’ and responded to, uncompromised by their parents’ vulnerability or behaviours.
- There is ‘no wrong door’ to Early Help, with all services and any practitioner taking responsibility to support families to access information, advice or guidance, as well as services to support their needs.
- Early Help promotes a whole family approach through understanding the holistic needs of individual family members and responding to them collectively.
- When there are two or more needs identified in a family, you should make an Early Help enquiry or call Early Help from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, on 01302 734110.
- Early Help enquiry staff will then assist you to gather and share information, consider options and where required complete an early help assessment by bringing together practitioners from different services to provide a collective response.
- Work with families is progressed at a pace to secure better outcomes for the child or young person with safeguarding needs being at the centre of decision making, stepping up to CSC as required.
- As safeguarding needs reduce from CSC, a trusted Lead Practitioner is identified through step down arrangements, and supported to continue the support package with the family.