What is Early Help?
‘Early Help’ describes the work of many agencies engaged with children and families including health services, schools, learning providers, local authorities, the voluntary sector, children and family centres, police, housing providers and many others. We are all engaged in work that seeks to avert a problem developing and preventing difficulties from escalating or the deterioration of circumstances which could adversely affect children, young people and families. Early Help is about focusing on how we can help empower families to build on their strengths and develop areas where they need support. If we can get this right early on, at the right time, we set families up for a better, healthier future.
Our offer of Early Help
ALL staff recognise their role in ensuring safeguarding is always prioritised for ALL children. We believe that information sharing and timely effective support can ensure that ALL children and families get targeted support that is fundamental for success. Families can benefit from support from a wide range of agencies. We recognise that other agencies will be able to support families based on their specialised work. Therefore, our role is often to signpost families to the resources that will best support their needs.
Parkend Primary School understands their responsibilities and as a school, we will carry out our duties in ensuring the effectiveness of Early Help Services for pupils in accordance with the requirements of the Children Act 2004 and within the statutory guidance “Working Together 2018” and “KCSIE 2021”. In summary, these are to:
Staff have daily contact with children and their families throughout term time. All staff recognise their role in identifying needs of vulnerable children and their families need for early help. We focus on support which significantly improves the outcomes for the child/ren. This involves the use of evidence-based interventions which are often led by our Family Support Lead, Mrs Wright. We regularly use the support of outside agencies such as Young Minds Matter and Barnardos (if you want to find out more about this support, please speak to Mrs Wright). All reports of concern are logged on the school’s safeguarding software. A secure electronic record is maintained as a chronology of concerns.
Our Early Help Approach
Hearing what children have to say and using the ‘voice of the child’
The school can provide a neutral space where the child feels it is safe to talk; this could be with our Family Support Lead, Mrs Wright. Sensitivity to the child’s conversation is vital. Staff listen carefully to what the child is saying, validate their lived experience whilst understanding their thoughts and feelings. We support the children to co-regulate their emotions and value what they say ensuring safeguarding concerns are dealt with in a timely manner in line with the school’s policy and procedures.
Hearing what parents/carers have to say and signposting support agencies
Being a parent is hard work and there are no instructions. Sometimes you or your children may need extra support. There is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for help. The school may be able to help you or signpost you and your family to other partner agencies such as Trailblazers, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers), the school nurse etc.
With your permission and signed consent to share form, people from different organisations working with your family will share information and work together to help support you and your children.
What training do we receive?
Designated Safeguarding Leads and our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads undergo training every two years. All other staff members receive annual refresher training at the start of the new school year. New staff cover safeguarding training as part of their induction and safeguarding is always discussed during staff meetings ensuring confidentiality.
The DSL or Deputy DSL readily seek advice from the safeguarding partners in the event of disclosure if necessary or if they are concerned about a pupil’s wellbeing. If a child is at risk of harm this information may be shared prior to consent being gained.
The DSL and the Deputy DSLs receive alerts from the safeguarding partners, attend regular safeguarding briefings and keep their knowledge and awareness of safeguarding up to date and at the heart of their practice at all times.
Identifying risks at the earliest opportunity
All staff are aware of the risks which may indicate the need for early help – this includes children who:
Staff understand that, where statutory intervention is not always required, Early Help may be used to address concerns and support families to move forward successfully.
If appropriate, a ‘Team Around the Family’ or ‘Team around the Child’ meeting will be held. The family and supporting outside agencies involved come together to make a support plan. This is reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that progress is being made for your family and that the right support is in place.
Please refer to our Safeguarding page for further details: