RELEVANT PROCEDURES AND GUIDANCE
Early Help means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children's life chances. Effective intervention may occur at any point in a child or young person's life.
It describes much of the everyday work of organisations that support children and is recognised as having a vital role in preventing problems escalating. There is clear evidence that intervening early results in better outcomes for children, and saves public money by reducing the need for expensive specialist services.
Early help is most effective when embedded in a 'whole family' approach. Children and young people develop resilience if there are protective factors in place such as: a positive relationship with an adult; good literacy and communication skills; good school attendance; and, parents in or actively seeking work. Children and young people in those families have a better chance to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives and develop into responsible adult citizens.
This is supported by an integrated approach, between and across services. The delivery of early help is the shared responsibility of all partner organisations who work with children of any age at any time. Often these needs are best met when help is offered in a universal setting.
Help should be delivered by a workforce that is appropriately trained, and receives robust good quality case supervision.
Local procedures apply for this chapter - please see Local Information.