Early Help Offer
What is Early Help?
Early Help means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes.
Day to Day Support
Most families, most of the time, can get on with their lives quite happily with little or no outside help. If they need help it is usually provided by universal services, such as schools.
Focused Pastoral Support – Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH) Team
All families can have times, however, when difficulties arise and they either may not recognise it or may not know how to start putting things right. Schools play a role in supporting families to address these difficulties through more focused pastoral support, which might include bringing in support via an external agency.
The SEMH Team can offer advice on a range of concerns or can signpost parents to other sources of information, help and support.
What sort of concerns might parents share with our team?
A wide range of issues such as behaviour management, financial worries and debts, domestic abuse, housing concerns, mobility difficulties, bereavement and loss, cyber bullying - in fact any concerns which you are worried might be having a negative impact on your child(ren).
Early Help at St Christopher’s and what it might look like.
- Attendance is monitored by assigned school staff and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO)
- Letters sent home when attendance drops below 90%.
- First day calling.
- Home visits for attendance concerns.
- EWO meetings for those who have persist absence.
- Weekly class awards for highest attendance.
- School nursing referrals for medical conditions that affect absence.
- Extra visits/induction for vulnerable students to their new school.
- Family support meetings with Health visitors/school nurse/Early Years team for vulnerable pupils, before entry to school.
- Induction days.
- Pupils information sharing – SEND, Safeguarding files and other records.
- SENDCo liaison to pass on information and records for those pupils on the SEND register.
- Support for online school applications for parents.
- Transition programme with designated link teacher.
- Inductions sessions for children starting in Early Year, including home visits.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Qualified Mental Health First Aiders- both child and adult.
- Two dedicated Pastoral Support Workers.
- Referrals to external agencies.
- 1:1 SEMH support where needed.
- Small group social story work.
- Parental support
- Signposting to family.
- Bereavement support.
- Twice daily contact on the playground with the SEMH team and SLT.
- Behaviour support - Sharing Parenting - Outside the Box.
- Behaviour support - Family Action Plan Bee.
- Support for anxious children.
- Breakfast Club.
- After School Club
- Playmakers at lunchtime
- Parent information sessions.
- After school activities.
- Connection to local foodbank.
- Links to Lightwave Church group and the local church.
Early Help provision in Suffolk
Early help is offered through a wide range of services and agencies. A lot of early help support is available in schools. Early Years settings and schools offer programmes to develop children’s social and emotional skills and some schools have counsellors available for children to talk to. Mentoring support for children and young people is another way many schools offer early help. Schools also work with other services such as the Police and an example is where schools invite Police Liaison Officers to deliver awareness raising sessions to children, young people and their parents to develop awareness of how children can be groomed or exploited.
Midwifery and Health Visiting services offer early help to parents to support them in the care of new-born babies, and families can also get support through attending parenting programmes and from Health and Children’s Centres. Many charities in Suffolk provide early help services ranging from drop-in sessions, advice and guidance on health and wellbeing, housing, finance, getting a job, counselling services and much more. Schools and early years’ settings will offer support for children with special needs, and Suffolk County Council has a service to support children with a special educational need or disability. SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) is an impartial information, advice and support service for children, young people and families which is free, easy to access and confidential. District and Borough Councils give help and advice with finding somewhere to live. The also provide cultural and sport and fitness activities which all play their part helping families to develop their own solutions and support networks.
The Local Authority in Suffolk has an Early Help service that offers a range of support including parenting groups and programmes, a school nursing service which includes a confidential chat service, support to encourage school attendance and the take up of childcare and early years entitlements at ages 2, 3 and 4, Health Visiting support, Family Hubs, support for young people with employment, education and training, support for children and families via a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) through a multi-agency approach.