Early Help in Buckinghamshire
Early help is an approach that supports the identification of and response to emerging problems that children, young people and their families face at any point in their lives. It is a way of working that supports families to overcome these challenges and avoids things becoming worse and having long-lasting, negative consequences that are harder to resolve. Timely and flexible support is evidentially better for children and families, it prevents escalation and is as a result, more cost effective. Early help is provided through a range of different services: universal (which are open to all), targeted provision, and specialist services. It is also embedded in communities where provision is available to families through informal support, local networks and voluntary activity which add real capacity and value to our collective early help offer.
Effective early help relies on a partnership approach with local organisations and agencies working together to:
· Reflect the Government guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children document.
· Identify children and families who would benefit from early help.
· Undertake an assessment of the family or child’s needs for early help.
· Provide appropriate targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family, which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child.
Early help in Buckinghamshire consists of all the support available to children and families at levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Buckinghamshire Children safeguarding Partnership’s Continuum of Need document. It also enables children and young people moving away from statutory support (level 4), to sustain the progress they have achieved and promote their increasing independence.
The partnership approach enables support to be provide at all levels of this continuum, from universal and preventative services to more targeted work with families with identified need or who are already known to Services. The different organisations making up the Early Help Partnership enable a varied offer to be provided to children and families in Buckinghamshire. These organisations include voluntary and community sector partners as well as Council, Health, Police and other community services.
Information about Early Help services in Buckinghamshire is available through the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service.
Family Information Directory – a directory of organisations that can provide support at different levels: https://directory.familyinfo.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/
Tel: 01296 383293