Early Help Offer
What is Early Help - the first steps
We understand that being a parent can be difficult – children and families may sometimes need some additional support. This could be for any reason including health, education, parenting, emotional well-being and more. Early Help is for all children up to age 18, and is voluntary – families don’t have to participate if they don’t want to.
Early Help is a way of bringing people together to support children and their families; it brings together the right people, with the right support at the right time. This support begins as soon as there is an identified need. For example –
- - We offer one to one and group pastoral support, with a wealth of experience from dedicated pastoral staff.
- - We offer support and advice to parents where children are finding it difficult to attend school.
- - We have an experienced school counsellor who can offer emotional support to pupils.
- - We share any concerns we may identify in school for a child, meeting with parents to discuss and share ideas to help a child thrive.
Involving other services
Where there is perhaps a more complex or long-standing need, it may be appropriate to invite another service to support your family. Early Help supports this; all services in Bolton are signed up to using the Early Help process. Areas of specialist support available include –
- Family support
- Drug and Alcohol Services
- Bereavement support
- Emotional wellbeing support
- Parental support
Where this level of support is needed, an Early Help Assessment will take place. This assessment will –
- Create a picture of your family’s circumstances – with your permission, this is shared so you don’t have to repeat yourself to different workers.
- Help you recognise what is going well for you as a family, so you can build on these strengths.
- Help you and others to see what support you may need.
- Create a team of people working together to improve the areas you identify as needing support.
Starting the Assessment and Plan
The Early Help Assessment starts with a conversation with an Early Help Practitioner in school. This will be someone who knows your child well (usually your child’s Pastoral Coordinator but it could also be another member of the Safeguarding Team). It is your choice whether to access Early Help and it is very much a collaborative process.
Once it’s agreed that Early Help would be beneficial, there will be a meeting to discuss and agree what is going well and what extra support is needed. This assessment and the agreed plan will be recorded on a standard form to make sure that everyone understands the information.
What happens next?
With your permission, people from the services working with you will share information and work together to support you and your family. Your personal information belongs to you – services cannot share your information unless you agree, because your information is protected by law under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
One person will coordinate the plan – they are called the Lead Professional, and they will arrange meetings to review the plan and to make sure things stay on track. The review information is recorded on a standard form; if things have improved and the actions have all been completed, everyone will agree that it is okay to close the Early Help. If there are still things to work on, the plan will continue.
Would you like to talk to someone?
If you would like to talk to someone about our Early Help Offer, you can ask the Pastoral Co-ordinator for your child's year group for more information -
- Year 7 – Mr Hughes - email@example.com
- Year 8 – Miss Rhodes - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Year 9 – Miss Santacreu Perez - email@example.com
- Year 10 – Miss Leader - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Year 11 – Mrs Burt - email@example.com
You can also contact:
- Your local Sure Start Centre
- Your local library or community centre.