Early help family support workers
Early Help Family Support Workers are trained and experienced practitioners who are based within the community in the six Early Help hubs in Oswestry, Market Drayton, Sunflower House (Shrewsbury), Crowmoor (Shrewsbury), Ludlow and Bridgnorth.
The role of a Family Support Worker is to act as lead professional within the early help process. As part of the wider Early Help offer in Shropshire one of their functions is to coordinate the early help plan ensuring that the most appropriate services to meet the assessed needs of children and young people with SEND and their families are engaged and working together effectively to help children and young people with SEND to enjoy a happy, safe and healthy childhood and reach their full potential.
The Early Help Family Support Worker will:
- coordinate family meetings as part of an Early Help plan;
- support families, alongside schools, through the Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support;
- contribute to and support a child or young person’s Education Health and Care Plan;
- involve specialist services in the early help plan e.g. Autism West Midlands, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Housing support;
- provide parenting support using the Solihull Approach to parenting, specifically Understanding your Child with SEND;
- provide emotional support and containment to parent carers and empower them in their decision making;
- work directly with children and young people with SEND, and their siblings, to gather their wishes and feelings. This is done through using a variety of tools and approaches and, where appropriate, through observations to ensure that children’s lived experiences and additional needs are acknowledged and responded to through support which is appropriate to their stage of development and to meet their individual needs;
- support children and young people with SEND with their independence skills and for preparation into adulthood;
- signpost parent carers of children and young people with SEND to specialist services, such as Shropshire Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS), BEAM (Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service), SPECTRA Inclusion Support Team, Parenting Team and Strengthening Families Employment Advisors to help meet their child or families individually assessed needs;
- support families to identify, and encourage them to attend, All-In Short Breaks and appropriate positive activities within the local community to support children and young people’s social development and reduce family isolation.
Early Help Family Support can be requested through the completion of a whole family assessment which can be done by your child’s early years provider, school, college or health professional.
Further information can be found at Early Help in Shropshire or contact Shropshire Council’s First Point of Contact (FPOC) on 0345 678 9021.