If you're worried about your child's health or development you can speak to your health visitor, doctor, school nurse or someone at your child's school or early years setting.
Your local children's centre has lots of activities and support groups that are open to all families with children aged up to 5. Find out what's on in our early years section. Children’s centres also support children with additional needs and their families.
You may be looking for extra help because you are caring for a disabled child, worried about a young person's behaviour or affected by domestic abuse, drugs or alcohol. Your early help team can offer information, advice and practical support.
They also support in circumstances where children and young people are:
- not attending school or are at risk of exclusion from school
- not in education, training or employment after the age of 16
- involved in anti-social behaviour or at risk of becoming involved in crime
- carers for other family members
Early help assessment
Where needs are emerging or low level, individual services and universal services may be able to meet these needs, take swift action and prevent those needs escalating. Agencies who identify the emerging needs of a child and their family should complete the Early Help Assessment (EHA). Where the support for a child, young person and their family requires the involvement of more than one agency, a Team Around the Family (TAF) should be convened. The TAF should include the appropriate agencies who may contribute to a TAF Plan, for example:
- school pastoral teams
- school health
- behaviour support service
- education psychologist
- police safer neighbourhood team
The TAF should meet regularly to review the progress made and the outcomes achieved.
Where there are issues identified that warrant targeted support from an early help team, the EHA or TAF minutes should be sent to Starting Point to demonstrate the reasons for the referral. The request for support should be completed (when an EHA accompanies the online request for support - only basic details need adding to the online form). It should include any actions already undertaken and why these needs cannot be met by universal services.
Please see the threshold document attached to this page to help your decision making. If you're unsure about whether a threshold is met please call the professional advice and consultation service for advice and support tel: 01629 535353.
If the child already has an allocated early help team worker or social worker please liaise directly with the allocated worker.
If your request is about an immediate child protection issue or your concern is urgent, please tel: 01629 533190.
Documents to accompany online requests for support should be sent to our secure email: email@example.com or by Perspective Lite (the secure SchoolsNet portal). Documents sent via the portal should be titled:
- DFE number _SP_ document title_date
Please include the online request ILF reference in the subject title.