Effective early help relies on local agencies working together to:
- Identify children and families who would benefit from early help
- Undertake an assessment of the need for early help
- Provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child.
(Working Together 2015)
This vision of early help in Shropshire sits within the wider Shropshire Council and partnership approach to focus on prevention and wellbeing. Through the offer of advice, support and assistance to people and communities of Shropshire, it seeks to enable people and communities to help themselves. It places the home and community centrally in enabling care and support.
In Shropshire we've developed locality based ways of working with families at the earliest stage to help and support them to make positive changes. The aim is to develop resilience within families so that they feel able and confident to deal with problems should they escalate or arise in the future.
Early help in Shropshire is based on a child-centred and coordinated approach. We work with the whole of the family to enable prevention and early assistance. We ensure the voice of the child is heard, the family voice is visible and their lived experience is understood by all professionals working with them.
Our early help offer is built around partnerships based in communities. We've developed a locality approach to delivery that promotes accessibility and local need. Within this approach we want to support people in communities to take control of their own lives, and to live in a place where they feel happy and safe, and where they can feel a sense of pride and ownership.
There are a wide range of early help services available to children, young people and families at a universal, targeted and specialist level, some of which are delivered by commissioned providers and some by in-house providers. Further details of the Early Help offer can be found on the Shropshire Council website and in our early help strategy.