What is Early Help?
Most of the time families cope well with the demands of family life, but when circumstances change, or their usual networks of support let them down, there is help available. Islington is committed to making sure that families get support when they need it, quickly and with the minimum of fuss. This is referred to as Early Help and is available to families with children aged 0-19, to ‘nip problems in the bud’ before they become more serious.
Lots of families won’t need a formal service and will get the help they need through advice or information, for example through The Family Information Service or their local Bright Start children’s centre or local Bright Start community venue. These services are referred to as ‘universal’ meaning they are open to everyone.
When additional support is needed, for example with physical or mental ill health parenting or practical challenges like debt, rent arrears and unemployment, Early Help Services can step in. This support is delivered by a lead professional, usually a Family Support Worker, and is tailored to individual families with an emphasis on building skills and resilience to manage and solve problems.
Early Help thinks about the needs of the whole family and coordinates this support so there is one lead person bringing together other services as a team around the family. This means the family don’t have to keep repeating their story and there is better communication between professionals.
If you think a child may be at risk of neglect or abuse call the Children’s Services Contact Team (CSCT) on 020 7527 7400 who will make sure the family are referred to the right service including Children’s Social Care teams. Professionals can request support by completing a request form here
Families can self-refer to most Early Help services or professionals can refer with parental consent. See below for more information and how to access different services according to need.
Islington Family Information Service is a free telephone and web-based information and advice service for families with children and young people 0-25 and a weekly drop in. See here for information and contact
Islington SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) Community Support Service provides free confidential information, advice and support on all matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities for families with children aged 0 to 25. See here for more information and contact
You can pop into your local Bright Start children’s centre to find out about activities and support or a book a place at a local family support surgery advertised in the Bright Start timetables
Bright Start is for every child and every family. Family Engagement Workers can provide advice and guidance on a range of issues and additional support is available through Family Support Workers. See here for Bright Start timetable of activities and more information and contact
Parenting programmes are free and available to all Islington parents and expectant parents. See here for more information and a current timetable: www.islington.gov.uk/parentingprogrammes
Targeted Youth Support (TYS) work with young people aged 10 – 21 years’ old and provide outreach, group work, counselling and more information and contact