Early Help Offer
Newbold Church Of England Primary School works to provide Early Help to families in the school community. Since September 2019 we have been providing Early Help through school. We work alongside a variety of agencies and are providing support through the school setting.
As part of our Early Help offer, the school has 2 Family Resource Workers who aim to give a range of different types of support, face to face help and signposting to our families.
Early Help services aim to both provide advice and/or intervene where there is evidence of emerging needs with the objective of preventing escalation to higher level services.
If you are concerned about the safety of a child or you require urgent help or advice Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190.
What is Early Help?
Early help is a way of getting extra support when you or your family needs it, but getting it as soon as the difficulties start, rather than waiting until things get worse. It’s for children and young people of any age. Help can come from all kinds of services and organisations who work together to support your family. You might be using some of these services already, but we want to make sure they are providing the right support for you and your family’s needs.
Our Early Help Offer explained
Early help is defined as providing support for children and young people as soon as a problem emerges, to prevent the problem escalating and further difficulties arising in the future. Effective early help relies on a multi-agency approach where organisations work together to:
• Identify children and families who would benefit from early help.
• Undertake an assessment of the need for early help.
• Provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family, which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child.
Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later, as help is available for children as soon as a problem emerges.
Our Early Help Offer summary
The Early Help offer at NCS provides links in with other wider scale multi-agency approaches that are in place to support families – it is important to remember that it is an approach not a service. It respects every family’s right to access information in order to help manage their own lives successfully, whilst guiding them to seek support from appropriate sources. Help can be agreed as soon as concerns start to emerge. The Offer is for all children, as issues may arise at any point in a child or young person’s life. It includes both universal and targeted/specialist services, to reduce or prevent concerns from growing or becoming entrenched, and works to achieve the following aims:
• Help is there when parents, children and young people need it.
• Partner support is in place, which provides a way forward that is right for everyone – there is a choice of help and it will be easy to access.
• Families are at the centre of everything our school does – they will only have to tell the school their story once.
• NCS is assertive with families who may not want support but need it – and continue to support families until they no longer need help.
The Role of the DSL and DSSLs
Where early help is needed, the DSL (Mrs Marsh) or any deputy DSLs (Mrs Burn, Miss Smith), alongside the Early Help Team (Mrs Kirk and Ms Taylor) are responsible for leading or liaison with other agencies and organising an inter-agency assessment as required. Certain staff members, however, may assume responsibility for supporting other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment, and may act as the lead professional in some cases.
The DSL and any deputies must have a firm understanding of the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and LA children’s social care arrangements for referral.
Early Help services
The purpose of early help is to prevent issues and problems becoming serious and harmful to the child, young person, family and community. When children and families need this extra support, they need it quickly. Provision of early help support can be at all stages of a child’s life; pre-birth (During pregnancy), childhood or adolescence. Children and families concerned may have a variety of needs that lead to professionals from different disciplines working together to support them and their families. In particular, practitioners should be alert to the potential need for early help in children who:
• Are disabled or have specific additional need/needs
• Have SEND
• Are young carers
• Are showing signs of being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups.
• Are frequently missing or go missing from care or from home.
• Are at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation.
• Are at risk of being radicalised or exploited.
• Are in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse.
• Are misusing drugs or alcohol themselves.
• Are privately fostered.
• Have returned to their family home from care.
If used effectively, early help services will save costs to wider support teams, and so it is important that schools are fully involved: their own key responsibility is to ensure that all children, including the most vulnerable, achieve expected levels of progress. They are often the first agency to spot problems when all is not well at home and are trusted point of contact for many families.
Early help will be used in line with our other school policies such as: child protection and safeguarding, behaviour, SEND, attendance and teaching and learning.
NCS has systems in place to recognise vulnerable children and/or families, and appropriate measures are in place to open the support network for these cases through the DSL, Family support team or the SENCO at the school. Whilst all of these staff members play an important role in accessing support, ultimate responsibly for initiating inter-agency assessment and leading on the support provided lies with the DSL (Mrs Marsh). Sometimes this support can be short-term, or it could be longer-term, widespread support that is needed through a common assessment framework.
Click here to see our Safeguarding and child protection policy
Why would I seek early help?
It could be that you’re worried about your child’s health, development or behaviour, or perhaps because you are caring for a disabled child. Maybe your child is affected by domestic abuse, drugs or alcohol. Perhaps your child is a carer for other people.
Who do I ask?
Have a chat with Mrs Kirk, Ms Taylor, or any member of school staff, a support worker or health professional – they can help you look at what types of support are available and who might be able to help.
What happens if I ask for an Early Help Assessment?
You will be fully involved and we will listen to you. It may be that we just talk to you and point you to the support you want. If it’s a bit more complicated, we’ll need to ask you for more information that we’ll write down or type. This is so we can get the right information and share it (with your consent) with people who need to know, so we can better understand your circumstances and match up services that would help you the most. You’ll get a plan showing what you want to achieve and the support you need.
What sort of services or help do I get?
It will depend on what you need and might include services you already get. We will agree it with you and make sure it all joins up. Here are a few examples:
Stay and play
Domestic violence support
Welfare Benefits advice
Can I say no to an Early Help Assessment?
Yes, you can, but we would like to stay in contact with you in case your circumstances alter or you change your mind. We will continue to monitor your child in school and will speak to you again if we feel support is needed immediately.
What is the Graded Care Profile?
The graded Care Profile is another tool that we might use to help us work together to identify how things can be made better for your child. Click here to find out more how the Graded Care Profile Works and what you will need to do.
Does any of this mean Social care will get involved?
No. If in the future your circumstances change and it becomes a possibility, we will keep you involved and work with you so that you understand what is happening and why.
What happens when I stop receiving early help services?
We want you to become confident and able to find your own solutions and take responsibility for your family. You can continue to use all services that are open to families and children and if your needs change again, then please ask us for further help, as soon as you need it.
Do school offer any positive parenting groups?
Yes, we are currently offering the Solihull Approach Parenting Group to support parents in understanding their child's behaviour in collaboration with Derbyshire's Early Help Team. For more information click here.
Requests for early help can be made face to face, via the school office or by using the contacts below:
Kerry Marsh - Head teacher and DSL
Elaine Kirk - Family Resource Worker, Nurture Lead, ELSA
Michaela Taylor - Family Resource Worker, Play and Art Facilitator & Attendance Support
Telephone: 01246 232370
https://www.oneplusone.org.uk/parents - Online relationship support for parents
https://www.kidscape.org.uk/ - help with bullying
https://www.saferderbyshire.gov.uk/what-we-do/domestic-abuse/domestic-abuse.aspx - Domestic abuse support
https://www.derbyshirerecoverypartnership.co.uk/ - alcohol and drugs support
https://derbyshirecarers.co.uk/registration-and-referral - young carers
https://derbyandderbyshireemotionalhealthandwellbeing.uk/ - emotional health and wellbeing
https://saferinternet.org.uk/guide-and-resource - online safety
https://www.ddscp.org.uk/ - safeguarding
https://www.childline.org.uk/ - Childline
Page last updated August 2023