Early Help in Trafford aims to make sure that services to support children, young people and their families are there when they need them.
Sometimes you may need help or extra support to sort out a problem or challenge. You don’t need to feel alone. An Early Help Assessment is a way of us listening and working with families who would like support.
If one person in a family has a problem, it usually affects other people in the family. The person with the problem could be a child, young person or adult. If all the family is supported, it’s more likely that things will improve for you.
Early Help support is for the whole family; children, young people and adults. We recognise you know your family best and when one person is facing a challenge it can affect others, and sometimes there is a significant life event that affects everyone. An offer of Early Help support will build on your strengths as individuals and as a family, it will recognise the support networks around you and help find what’s going on in your local community to continue to support you.
The Early Help assessment and plan is helpful as it brings together different people who will be able to offer support to all the members of your family. Support could come from schools, health services, nurseries, housing, substance misuse services, probation and a whole range of services available in the community.
You can ask for an assessment or someone you are in contact with may suggest one for you, for example your health visitor, housing officer or teacher. It is your choice whether to have an Early Help Assessment. If you think it would be useful, first you give your written agreement. Then someone you know or who is currently supporting you will arrange a time to meet with you.
The first step – listening to you/discussing together
This is where the worker will ask about your strengths, any challenges you are having, and what extra support you think might help. An Early Help assessment is used to review the needs of you and your family. Completing one is like writing a to-do list and putting a plan in place to achieve it. It is a single assessment process. This means you don’t have to repeat your story to lots of different professionals.
The second step – agreeing a plan together
This will involve a meeting with you and the workers who could help your family. At this meeting, the support you need is discussed and a plan is agreed. The plan says who is going to do what and when, including the things you and your family will do yourselves.
The third step – checking we all did what we said we would and finding out if it helped
This is where everyone will come back together to review progress and make sure the plan is working.
There will be one person who is responsible for coordinating the support, often known as the ‘Case Coordinator.’ This is someone who already knows you and your family, or that will quickly get to know you. They will be your main contact and will keep you informed about what’s happening. They will listen to you and make sure your views are represented.
If there is an agency you don’t want to share your information with, or if there is someone in your family who doesn’t want to be involved, there are ways we can work around this. Don’t let that be a reason not to have Early Help support for you and your family.
Early Help support relies on us all working together. Everyone must keep their word about what they agree to do. For this to work well, try to keep appointments and be open and honest about you and your child’s situation. Speak to your Case Coordinator if you are finding it difficult to attend an appointment or meeting. Ask questions and be as involved as you can to make sure the Early Help support has all the right people and services involved to get the best possible results for you and your family.
Only workers who need to know about you will have information about you. However, there may be times when the people working with you need to share the information. This includes:
- When they need to find out urgently if a child or young person is at risk of serious harm.
- To help a child, young person or adult who is at risk of harm.
- To help prevent or detect a serious crime.
If you think Early Help Support is right for you and your family, you can talk to any service you are already involved with, for example, a health visitor, a school or any kind of worker linked to your family.
Alternatively, you can contact one of Trafford’s Early Help Hubs for a chat about the support that is available.
The Early Help Hub’s are in Stretford and Partington, however services are available all across Trafford.
The contact details are:
Stretford : 0161 912 5020
Partington : 0161 912 2122