Early Help in Redcar and Cleveland
Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any stage in a child's life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.
In Redcar and Cleveland, we will work together to ensure that children young people and their families receive the right help as early as possible to support them to thrive and fulfil their dreams. In order to do this, we have worked with our partners to develop a multi-agency Early Help Strategy for 2021-25. This sets out our collective principles and priorities for supporting our children and families.
The full Early Help Strategy is available to download from the attached documents.
In Redcar and Cleveland there are different options for supporting children, young people and families depending on the presenting needs and the levels of concern. Those who know the children and families well are often best placed to start supporting the family, but no practitioner can know/do everything to help a family on their own.
If you are worried about a child and family at an Early help level, you can complete the Early Help Referral Form which is available to download by clicking in the related documents tab and email it in to RedcarMACH@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk
For support and advice about referring a family for Early Help services, please contact the Early Help Coordinators in Redcar and Cleveland MACH on 01642 130680.
Once a referral has been received – this will be considered by the Redcar and Cleveland MACH Manager and if they feel it is appropriate for early help support, it will then be forwarded to the Early Help Coordinator Team to consider which LA or partner service would be best placed to meet the child and family's needs. The Early Help Coordinator will contact the family and the referrer to discuss the worries and gain more information wherever possible.
The Early Help Assessment (EHA) – a good tool to support families
If you believe a child needs some additional help and support and you do not believe that there are immediate safeguarding concerns, a good approach is for you and the family you are supporting to complete an Early Help Assessment (EHA) together.
An EHA is a whole family assessment which helps you unpick and determine the needs of all family members and therefore, what help and support is required to help the family meet those needs.
The EHA is not about form filling; it is about having a meaningful conversation with a family about their strengths and worries, working out what they need and pulling in the right people to provide support - a team around the family (TAF).
The EHA is an assessment tool and as such it is not to be considered as a referral form or used to request additional services. The TAF approach is one where professionals come together around a family to create a single SMART action plan to which the family and all professionals contribute and help to identify who else might be asked to help.
The EHA should not be used as a way to pass families onto another team.
An EHA is not required if there is already a higher-level assessment in place e.g. a social worker.
All completed partner-led EHA's should be returned to the Family Hub inbox.
What happens next?
Once we've received your Early Help Assessment it will be logged on our central database and an Early Help Coordinator (EHC) will be alerted. If required, the EHC will contact the author of the Early Help Assessment to give feedback and offer support and guidance to the lead practitioner on next steps.
The lead practitioner will then work with the family as agreed in the action plan, reviewing it regularly to ensure the action plan is current and smart.
Early Help Clinic
The Early Help Clinic is held on the 4th Thursday of every month.
The clinic is jointly facilitated by an Early Help Coordinator and a Social Worker for safeguarding advice, in line with the Working Together guidance.
The aim is to provide support and guidance to all practitioners who are working with families, children and young people at an Early Help level, including our partners.
The clinic provides -
- Support and advice to practitioners on any Early Help cases.
- Group supervision to partners on 'stuck' cases they are leading.
- Encouragement and support with the completion and submission of EHA's by partner agencies.
- A discussion forum to help identify children and families who would benefit from an Early Help Assessment.
- Support to practitioners to embed signs of wellbeing in their practice.
- Advice to practitioners where there has been ongoing multi-agency support via an Early Help Assessment but there has been no observed improvement to the child's outcomes, or where there has been an escalation of risk (without immediate danger).
Please see guidance on attached documents.
Early Help services directly provided by the Council include the following:
There are three main Family Hubs, which were formerly known as sure start children centres, in Greater Eston (Ormesby), East Cleveland (Saltburn) and Redcar. These Family Hubs bring together council services, including Family Hub support staff, (previously children's centre staff), Health Visitors, School Nurses and our Intervention teams.
The Family Hub service provides support around a mixture of referrals for early years parenting support, child development including social and emotional, communication and language and physical development and supports to improve the home learning environment. Family Hubs also deliver the HENRY programme, supporting the reduction of childhood obesity, along with Starting Solids, HENRY weaning support.
Find out more about the Family Hubs service here.
The Redcar and Cleveland Early Help Youth and Community Service is staffed by a professional team of full and part-time youth workers who run our universal youth clubs across the borough and develop trusting and caring relationships with young people. They do this with a clear understanding of professional and personal boundaries, based on the principles of being Youth-led, inclusive, supporting equality and diversity and having respect for each other.
The youth service delivers positive diversionary activities to young people across Redcar & Cleveland, supporting them to overcome difficult issues, problems or barriers; giving them time and somewhere safe to turn, supporting them to cope with difficult life issues and progress positively. The youth service continues to provide a co-ordinated and effective response to meet the needs of young people when required.
Find out more about Youth Services here.
Children and Families Intervention Team
We have 18 'Child & Family Intervention Workers' based within the integrated early help locality teams in our Family Hubs who support families with a complex range of needs who require services coordinating for them. They complete Early Help Assessments and follow the Team Around the Family process, working with the family and their support network to develop plans to help them improve the children's welfare. They also do individual direct work with children, young people and families to capture their voice and help them work through their issues. Formerly staff in this team were known as Keyworkers and Targeted Intervention Officers.
Early Help Assessment Team
The team of 5 full time Early Help Coordinators who are based in the Multi-agency Children's Hub offer advice, guidance, and support to those working with children and families to prevent needs and risks escalating. They can provide a wealth of tools, information, and training; and can support practitioners to complete Early help Assessments, Team around the Family action plans, and gather the voices of children for family meetings. They will also help practitioners to understand risks and safeguarding.
Our privacy notice can be downloaded and viewed below:
Early Help Privacy Notice