Early Help

What is an ‘Early Help’?

Early Help is a form of support aimed at improving outcomes for children or preventing escalating concerns. Where we might find barriers that could prevent a child’s development, we look to take quick action to prevent more serious issues further down the line.

Early Helps are part of the “continuum of support” which can be escalted or deescalated depending on the needs of the child and/or family. Due to this, Early Helps are reviewed on a regular basis to assess the impact of actions that have been put in place.

Sometimes is there is a specific need, we will seek the support of external agencies to support. Services can be delivered to parents, children, or whole families. The completion of an Early Help is often vital to access these services.

The importance of helping families early is highlighted in the national safeguarding guidance across the UK. Early Help forms are completed in conjunction with the local authority. In Bury, these will be called ‘The Story So Far’.

Why are early help and early intervention important?

Identifying need early and providing timely support is part of our core safeguarding philosophy. Doing this will allow our students t achieve things they never thought they could.

Research suggests that eary help and intervention can:

  • Protect children from harm
  • Reduce the need for a referral to child protection services
  • Improve children’s long term outcomes
  • Improve children’s home and family life
  • Support children to develop strengths and skills to prepare them for adult life

Read more: Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) (2021) About early intervention: why it matters. 

When could an Early Help be useful?

An Early Help could be used for:

  • Concerns about behaviour that require further support
  • A student struggling with poor mental health or anxiety
  • Where a student is a persistent absentee and attendance is falling
  • Where a student and family are suffering from a bereavement
  • Where are any external factors that are creating a barrier to a student’s development

An Early Help will only be used when a student does not meet the threshold for a statutory intervention. Where there are concerns that meet local authority threshold a referral will be made to Children’s Services for support.