Early Help

Early Help means using the community of support around your family to make sure small problems don't become big problems. It's a way for families, children and young people of any age to get help as early as possible.

Early Help involves talking with you and your family to understand what your needs are and find the people who can give you the best help.

It is not a single service, tool or assessment, it is a safety net of services and organisations in your community who work together to get you the right support at the right time from the right people.

How can I get Early Help?

If you feel like you or your family need support, you can ask someone you trust about getting Early Help. This could be a teacher or safeguarding officer at school, a healthcare professional, a community or voluntary organisation, or any professional who helps children and young people in North Somerset. 

One of these people may approach you to ask if you would like to talk about Early Help if they are concerned about you or your child. 

It is your choice whether to have Early Help support, and it can come from any of the services in your community which support you with things like: 

  • parenting 
  • family relationships 
  • childcare 
  • mental and physical health 
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support 
  • housing 
  • money 
  • employment 
  • social care 
  • education

What does Early Help look like?

The support you get should be based around your specific needs. 

Early Help begins with a conversation with a trusted person about the problems you are having and what help you need, as well as what you think is working well for you. You can involve your child in this conversation so that they can share anything they want help with too.

Using your responses to their questions, you can work with your trusted person to understand where you might be on the Continuum of Need so that you can plan the right support for your specific needs.

What happens next will be different for each family. You may create a plan for support with the person you have worked with to set goals and check in later to see if you need more support. 

By talking with a professional, you may agree that you need a higher level of support than Early Help. If this is the case, they will help you get the right support for you.

The Early Help strategy

Our Early Help strategy is a useful resource for families and professionals. It includes:

  • our vision and aims for Early Help in North Somerset
  • the Early Help system of support services in the local area
  • information about the Supporting Families Programme
  • an explanation of Community Early Help and Intensive Early Help
  • tools for professionals which help to have conversations with families and plan their support
  • a guide for professionals about how to use the tools and provide Early Help support

Early Help tools

We have created a digital copy of the 'Let's Talk' tool in our Early Help strategy to make it easier to fill out and share with other professionals in the Early Help system. You can read the strategy to find out more about how to use the tools.