Shropshire Council

Stages of Early Help provision

In Shropshire there are different stages of Early Help:

1. Self-help

This is any information and support that you are able to gather yourself. This can be in the form of advice from friends and family, research via the library or the internet. In Shropshire some useful web pages include the Family Information Service, Local Offer and the NHS website.

2. Universal Services

These are services that all children and families can access for example health and education, Autism West Midlands, Parenting clinics, ‘All In’, Shropshire IASS (Information Advice and Support Service) and other community services. Universal Services can stay involved even if Early Help is needed. Some Universal Services also offer Early Help support.

3. Early Help

This is the support provided from services who you or your child may already know, for example schools, pre-schools, colleges, Health Visitors, Young Carers Project, BEAM (Emotional Wellbeing), Education Access Service, Housing Support. The aim of Early Help is to meet needs early and avoid a problem escalating or the need increasing.

4. Targeted Early Help

This is needed when existing support is not enough to enable the child, young person or family to make progress. At this point an Early Help family Support Worker may be allocated to provide support around specific needs.

Each stage of Early Help has a number of different services who can support you and your child. This is explained in the diagram on this page.

At all stages, Early Help recognises the role that family members have, and the wishes and feelings of everyone within the family are always considered. It is important to understand the strengths, difficulties, views and needs of everyone in the family to help you understand what can be changed or put in place to help your situation.

In Shropshire needs are identified using a whole family assessment and action plan which helps identify what support is needed, and by whom, to meet your child and family’s needs. The action plan could include support from one service or a selection of services, depending on the outcome of the whole family assessment.

This plan of Early Help is coordinated by one lead worker, who is the family’s main point of contact. The lead worker will help you access the services you need quickly and easily. They will arrange regular review Family Meetings so that you and the services involved can ensure that the support being provided is still meeting your family’s needs.

Where more specialist support is needed for a child or young person with SEND some of the information in the Early Help assessment and plan can contribute to a Graduated Support Plan (GSP) at school or an Education, Health and Care assessment and plan. This is called a ‘graduated approach’ to supporting children and young people with SEND in Shropshire. 

Early Help support can be provided by one service or a selection of services, including a targeted service.