What is Early Help?
Early help is a simple concept. Early help means taking action to support a child, young person or their family early in the life of a problem, as soon as it emerges. Early Help can be provided at any stage in a child or young person’s life, from pre-birth through to the teenage years.
Preventive services are more effective than reactive services and Early Help responses are also critical to preventing issues from escalating. Early Help seeks to meet the needs of and support the family in resolving difficulties and prevent them becoming entrenched.
Early help, also known as early intervention, is providing the right support to families, at the right time, to achieve change that lasts. It is a key part of delivering frontline services that are integrated and focused around the needs of children and young people.
See Early Help Directory
Early help services can be delivered to parents, children or whole families, but the main focus is to improve outcomes for children and help prevent any situation from escalating, or further problems arising.
Who should offer early help?
As with safeguarding children and young people, early help is everyone’s responsibility. The first person to offer support to a child or young person and their family should be the practitioner identifying the issue. But for early help to be effective, all local organisations should work together to identify those children and families who would benefit from this service and undertake assessments of their needs (Working Together to Safeguard Children – link to government guidance).