Effective early help relies upon us all working together, providing local support as soon as a problem arises at any point in a child’s life, from early years through to the teenage years and into early adulthood. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. By identifying emerging problems, sharing information with other professionals and targeting assessed need, positive outcomes for children, young people and their families are increased.
What we mean by Early Help
Early help is about stopping problems escalating. It relies on accurate early identification of difficulties and early action which is targeted and evaluated. It can involve intensive intervention or lighter touch support and is usually based on a clear support plan, with identified actions, responsibilities and outcomes, which is then reviewed.
Early help is a form of targeted activity, with a specific action or actions being put in place to address a defined issue or combination of issues. It therefore forms part of a continuum of activity in supporting families.