Early Help Offer
Parents and the wider community play a major role in a child’s health, development and wellbeing, through positive parenting and the creation of an environment that is safe, healthy and encourages active learning. Expectant parents, existing parents, communities and services working together have a role to play in ensuring they have the support and skills to give children the best start in life.
We know the more high quality opportunities that can be offered in the first three years of a child’s life, the better the outcomes achieved for the child. Taking better care of our children’s early health and development is crucial. Getting it right for babies and young children gives a foundation for their whole life and reduces inequalities later in life. Children’s physical, social and cognitive development during the early years strongly influences their school readiness, educational attainment, economic participation and health.
In North Lincolnshire, there are approximately 35,000 children and young people. The majority of children have their needs met and achieve good outcomes through the support of their parents and immediate family members and by accessing their universal entitlement to:
- Keep their children safe
- Give everyday care and help
- Have someone to be there for them
- Experience play, encouragement and fun
- Understand their family history, background and beliefs
- Know what is going to happen and when
- Offer guidance and support in making the right choices
A child/young person should also expect from its community:
- Support from family friends and members of the wider community
- Local resources/activities
- Comfortable and safe housing
- Work opportunities for themselves and their family
- A sense of belonging
- Good schools and childcare provision
Early help services could be defined as:
‘Services working together to promote positive outcomes, to increase the resilience of children and communities and to prevent the need for children and families to become dependent on specialist help or services.’
Early help includes:
- Help early in life (with young children including pre-natal interventions)
- Help early in the development of a problem (with children and young people of any age)
At every stage of learning and development, meaningful information and guidance helps children, young people and families to support learning, development and the achievement of their full potential. Through good quality information, children and families will have the resources to ‘self-help’. Information, advice and guidance are available directly from the Family Information Service and accessible to all as part of a self-help and self-care culture.
There are wide range universal services available for everyone in their local community.
Whilst all of the above services offer proactive universal support to all, some children are unable to meet the same milestones as their peers through the accessing of universal and community services. Through the delivery of more targeted services we aim to support all families to:
- Prevent the need for statutory intervention in the care of children
- Prevent poor short and long term wellbeing outcomes
Collectively, agencies and organisations that work with children and their families can promote, support, and develop the capacity within families and communities. High quality engagement, timely and effective support and the willingness to have the honest conversation are essential to nurturing family and community resilience. This approach promotes more people using strengths within their own families and communities to achieve good outcomes
North Lincolnshire has an embedded approach to early help and all agencies have pledged to undertake early help, to create less dependency by families on more specialist services.
The annual review of our early help offer helps us understand the impact and benefits that have been achieved for children, young people and families through the early help offer.
The objects of the review are:
- to clearly document the key services that provide early help
- to understand how well the services are being used
- to understand the quality of the service provided
- to provide an opportunity to review services an assess their effectiveness
- to ensure we have a clear understanding about how services are contributing to early help
- to provide a collated list of early help services in a single document, which can be shared with partners and agencies allowing professional to see the suite of services available and options for integration.
The Early Help Annual Review 2015-2016 [PDF, 3Mb] can be downloaded.