The Early Help Pathway aims to give children and families having trouble at any point in their lives help, as early as possible. Effective early help works to:
- Stop problems before they happen.
- Stop current problems getting worse.
- Nurture personal strengths and skills that prepare children to live a larger life.
- Build resilience in families to access support when they need it.
Supporting children and families is all about helping them to be more resilient and able to access targeted support when they need it. The Pathway aims to bring Partners together as early as possible to combine resources to help achieve change.
The Early Help Pathway is a relationship based approach using systemic ideas. This means partners should work collaboratively and curiously with children, families, other professionals. Working systemically means we see families as experts on their own lives and view the partners as supporters of change. This means partners will encourage and support families in finding their own solutions.
Early Help in Calderdale ensures children and families receive the right support at the right time in order for them to grow up healthy, safe and successful.
Information for partners
You should seek consent from the family to complete an Early Help Pathway to change, if:
- You have identified that a family needs more support than you are able to offer;
- and other services should be involved.
From a direct conversation with the family, information is gathered in a whole family approach. Partners who can offer support to the family work together to make sure they have a relevant and useful package of support. This leads to a Child and Family Plan that identifies strengths and needs. It shows that children, young people and their families have been part of the process.
This is not extra responsibility for practitioners. It is an essential part of the 'day job' for all people working with Children and Families.
(Please note: If you have any issues using the above link, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (In the email's 'Subject line' put 'Early Help Pathway Document Access Request'.)
Step 1: Early Help offer
- Consult your own safeguarding procedures and consider the Continuum of Need.
- If you have identified multiple unmet needs, explain and offer a Family Group Conference and/or the Early Help Pathway.
Step 2: Starting the Pathway
- The Family Information leaflet can help you to explain the Early Help Pathway to the family.
- At this stage you will be the initial Early Help Partner and will be expected to start the Early Help Pathway.
- Complete Section 1 with the family's details and gain their consent.
- To complete Section 2, talk to all members of the family to understand:
- How they want you to record what is working well;
- and what their worries are on the Child and Family Voice/Basic Information forms.
- Using the child's name, record for each child, their answers to these questions and complete the scaling.
- Section 2 may take several conversations to fully understand the family's perspective and what they feel needs to change.
- To share your views about the strengths and concerns within this family, complete the Early Help Partners Voice form.
- Re-offer a Family Group Conference.
- On completion email both forms to the Early Help Team at email@example.com.
Step 3: Building the Partnership
Stage 1: Partners Planning Meeting
- You can now arrange a Planning Meeting with the other identified partners.
- If there are no other services involved at this stage:
- Contact the Early Help Co-ordinators for a case discussion and referral process to additional services.
- Summarise this discussion on the Summary of Actions Form.
- The identified services are required to contact you as the Initial Early Help Partner within 5 working days so a Planning Meeting can be arranged. Ideally this will be an online meeting, such as Teams and Zoom. Also with the invite send a Partners Voice form and ask that this is completed prior to the meeting.
- On receipt of the Child and Family Voice and Basic Information and Partners Voice forms, the Early Help Team will:
- Confirm with partners that they have been identified as support to this family;
- and to expect an invite to the Planning Meeting.
- Within 10 days the Early Help Team should be informed of the Planning Meeting date. Also, make a request for support with the meeting and/or to chase services, if necessary.
- The planning meeting is facilitated by Initial Early Help Partner and should follow the Standard Agenda detailed in the Summary of Actions Form.
- Each service should provide representation at the Planning Meeting and bring their Early Help Partners Voice form with them.
- Please note this meeting is only to decide how partners will work with the family.
- As a partnership you need to identify and agree the most appropriate Early Help Facilitator moving forward. Also, a potential date for the Child and Family Meeting.
- Record Partners Planning Meeting Summary of Actions and send to Early Help Team.
Step 4: Child and Family Meetings
- Each Partner and relevant family members should be represented at the meeting.
- The meeting should be facilitated by the agreed Early Help Facilitator. Also, it should follows the Standard Agenda details in the Child and Family Meeting Summary.
- To inform the Early Help Change Plan, share, discuss and use the:
- Child and Family Voice Form;
- and the Early Help Partners Voice Forms.
- Plan and confirm dates for future Child and Family Meetings (maximum six weekly intervals up to six months.)
- Organise date for Early Help Reflect Meeting at six months.
- Agree to continue, close, move to single agency support or step into targeted services.
- Record Summary of Decisions Informing the Plan and send with the plan to EarlyHelp@calderdale.gov.uk.
- Early Help Facilitator completes Summary of Need Form. This is after the 1st, 6th and final Child and Family Meeting and sends to EarlyHelp@calderdale.gov.uk. Note: This form should not be completed with the family.
- If the need for additional support is recognised at any of the Child and Family Meetings contact the Early Help Co-ordinators to discuss referral.
- If the case is still open at 12 months arrange a Reflect and Review meeting and consult with the Early Help Team if necessary.
Step 5: Looking to the Future
- Before a case is closed, consider the sustainability of the changes. Record this evidence by repeating Section 2 of the Child and Family Voice and Basic Information Form.
- Repeat the Summary of Needs Form.
- Send both these updated forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for families
The Early Help Pathway is Calderdale's way of make sure you get the right support at the right time. Local services have workers who will listen to you and your children to find out what worries and difficulties you may have.
They will also want to know what is going well and what extra support you think you need. As a general rule, the information you and your family give will only be shared with your consent. It will allow the worker to contact services to support you and your family.
For more details, see: Early Help Services Directory.
For more about how your information is stored and shared, please read: Early Intervention Single Assessment - privacy notice
Early help services
A list of local early help services who may be able to offer partnership support for families.
Please see: Early Help Services Directory.
Early Help Pathway
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