In Surrey, our approach to ensuring children, young people and families receive the right early support, at the right time by the right service is changing.
We know that providing early help is more effective in promoting family resilience than reacting later. Effective Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child's life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Early Help can also prevent further problems arising; for example, if it is provided as part of a support plan where a child has returned home to their family from care, or in families where there are emerging parental mental health issues or drug and alcohol issues. (Working Together 2018).
Effective Early Help relies upon local organisations and agencies working together to:
- identify children and families who would benefit from early help
- undertake an assessment of the need for early help
- provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child
The majority of families will be able to access universal services and are encouraged to make use of the Family Information Service to identify services in the community that may be able to support them and the needs of their children.
Any practitioner, child, young person or family member can directly access the Family Information Directory. This provides a detailed list of a variety of services that are available in the community by typing in a keyword search.