How Early Help has changed
The new approach builds on existing strengths whilst implementing best practice from other local authorities. The Effective Family Resilience levels of needs document has already been introduced, and clearly sets out examples of needs for families requiring early and targeted help.
At the heart of the changes is the creation of the new Early Help Hub which is part of the new Single Point of Access (SPA) arrangements.
The Early Help Hub will:
- triage the request for support.
- allocate it to the most appropriate service.
- inform the person making the request of the outcome of the request.
If a Surrey County Council Service is not appropriate the hub will endeavour to suggest alternatives.
The multi-agency referral form (MARF) has been withdrawn and has been replaced with a form called 'request for support'. When people request support it is implicit that the family is not being handed over but that the request is for children's services to join the existing network around the family.
The Early Help Panels are no longer necessary as the Early Help Hub will triage and contact services direct to allocate families for support or signpost agencies and families to appropriate support.
Surrey County Council commissions a wide number of voluntary and community services to provide early help. Whilst these arrangements are also being transformed this will continue as it is now with a revised approach and offer being available later in the year.
Our ambition is for the Early Help Hub to act as the pathway for a wide range of services including CAMHs and SEND. Initially level 3 support services set out below can be accessed by requesting support from the hub with more to follow as further pathways and services are collocated/integrated.