What is the Early Help Offer?
Barnet’s Early Help Offer identifies the need for help for children and families as soon as problems start to emerge, or when there is a strong likelihood that problems will emerge in the future.
The Early Help Offer is not just for very young children as problems may also emerge at any point throughout childhood and adolescence. The Early Help Offer includes universal and targeted services designed to reduce or prevent specific problems from escalating or becoming entrenched.
What makes up the Early Help Offer?
What does the Early Help offer mean for families?
Crucially for parents, it is envisaged that, in time, the Early Help Offer will provide the ‘front door’ through which they and professionals access additional support at any level.
The critical features of an effective early help offer are:
a multi-disciplinary approach that brings a range of professional skills and expertise to bear
a relationship with a trusted worker who can engage the child and their family, and coordinate the support needed from other agencies
practice that empowers families and helps them to develop the capacity to resolve their own problems
a holistic approach that addresses children’s needs in the wider family context
simple, streamlined referral and assessment processes.
The intended benefits for children, young people and families are:
enhanced life chances as a result of the well documented benefits of Early Help in preventing issues later in life
- an all age integrated service providing continuous support across age groups and for the whole family
- an easy to access one stop service with no wrong front door
- co-ordinated support resulting in maximised opportunities and outcomes for children, young people and families
- a relationship with a known and trusted key worker, whilst benefiting from the pooled knowledge and skills of a range of professionals.