What is Early Help for families?
Often when one person in a family has a problem, it will affect other people in the family. Early Help brings together professionals who will work with the whole family to try to make things improve for everyone. Early Help could include support with parenting, employment, anti social behaviour and emotional well being.
How does Early Help work?
Step one – getting help
Someone your family is already in contact with, such as a teacher or health visitor, might suggest that you would benefit from Early Help. You could also speak to a professional currently working with your family to find out more.
Step two – talking with you
If you decide to take up Early Help, the worker will talk with you – and more importantly listen to you – to find out about any difficulties that you and your family are having. They will also want to know about what is going well for your family and any strengths that you have that can be built upon. The worker will ask about the extra support that you think you might need and advise you on what is available.
Step three – the Early Help Plan
You will be invited to a meeting with the different people who could help your family. This could include workers from schools, health visiting, the Youth Service and a wide range of other services. This is called a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting.
At the TAF meeting, everyone including you will decide what support you need and what is available and a plan will be agreed saying who is going to do what and when.
Everyone will decide on a Lead Professional. This person will be your main contact who will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you during the whole process.
Step four – the review
This is where everyone will come back together and see how well the plan is working and if anything needs to change. At this stage everyone might decide that things have improved enough for Early Help to stop. Alternatively, if there are still things that your family needs support with, Early Help will continue and a further review date will be set.