Everyone has problems now and then, sometimes at home with family; with friends or people we know; school or college; our health, next steps or how we feel. Sometimes we know why we don’t feel okay, other times we have no idea. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small problem –help is always available. You are not on your own.
The sooner we access help the better –it stops problems getting worse and feels good to find solutions. Sometimes talking things through with a friend or family member is all we need. If it’s difficult to talk to a parent there maybe another family member we can turn to. Sometimes we need to find other help too. There are always people you can talk to, some you already know and others who might be new to you –their job is to listen to us and make sure we are okay and have all the help we need.
- School teacher or College tutor
- School or College support worker
- GP or Nurse
- Community worker (sports, music, dance, drama coach or teacher)
- Police Officer or Neighbourhood worker
- Locality Triage (see below)
There are people services online that can help too, take a look at the bottom of this page for sites that could help, some have phone or chat lines too.
Early Help is a process of getting support when we need longer term help. Some families choose to have Early Help because they want to make positive changes and have found this difficult to achieve themselves –there are lots of reasons why families need Early Help because everyone person and every family is unique. The short video below explains more about Early Help.
When a family agrees to Early Help they are allocated a Lead Practitioner, it’s usually someone they already know like a school, community or health worker, but sometimes this can be someone new such as a Family Support Worker. The Lead Practitioner works with the whole family to understand the difficulties, root causes and any barriers that stop things getting better, along with all the things that are working well. They gain information from other services that are involved and use all of the information to create the families Early Help Assessment and support plan. The Lead Practitioner will keep in regular touch with everyone in the family to provide support and check how things are going.
Team Around the Families meetings are held every 6-8 weeks, this is so everyone in the family and those services provide help can get together to share information and update the plan. When it’s just the family and the Lead Practitioner in the plan Team Around the Family meeting are not needed.
The most important thing about getting Early Help is that everyone in the family is listen to and valued. Our Lead Practitioner should take time to get to know us and ask us about our thoughts and feelings, worries and things that are going well; we should be able to go to our Team Around the Family meetings and if we don’t to attend our views should be shared by them.
Sometimes our parents or carers may not agree to Early Help but we may still want this; in some circumstance this can still happen, talk to one of the people in the list above or make contact with your locality Triage.
If you are a child or aged under 18 and have worries or concerns, you can contact the Early Help team yourself who will be able to answer any of your questions or support you in any way you would like: 01302 734110. You can also call ChildLine for free where you can get help and advice about a wide range of issues and there is always someone to talk to, whatever you are worried about: 0800 1111. Always call 999 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.