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Early Help

Stoke-on-Trent Multi Agency Threshold Guidance to the Levels of Need (December 2018)

This guide is intended for use by professionals who work regularly with children and young people. It is intended to be a guide only, to support professionals in identifying needs of children, young people and their parents and carers and identifying possible interventions to meet those needs.

Early Help Vision
Our vision continues to be that all children and young people in the city are happy, safe and healthy, inspired and enabled to succeed. For some children this can only be achieved with additional support. Our vision is to make Stoke -on-Trent an “Early Help” city by helping families at the earliest point, enabling them to access the right service, at the right time, from the right part of the system.

Early Help – A Description of What it is
The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) describes Early Help as: ‘Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years’.

It goes on to say that ‘Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later’. It is recognised there is a continuum of Early Help from preventing issues from occurring, to proactively identifying and responding to low level signs of unmet need through to more complex needs that require a more coordinated response.

Early Help involves bringing together people with the relevant skills and experience from the voluntary sector, community and/or other services to work in partnership with the child and/or their family to help themselves, build on their strengths to resolve the issue(s) and to become more resilient to prevent the issue from reoccurring. The purpose is to work alongside families to enable them to make the changes that they need to make for themselves.

What is the Early Help/  Signs of Wellbeing Assessment?
Key elements of the Signs of Wellbeing Assessment

  • Signs of Wellbeing enables professionals to use a strengths based methodology to talk about strengths and concerns with children, young people and families.
  • The views of the child(ren) and family are an important part of this process we have a range of tools to help professionals to identify, understand and respect their views.
  • There are 4 key steps to using the Signs of Wellbeing Assessment
  1. What’s going well?
  2. What are we worried about?
  3. How worried am I?
  4. What needs to happen?

Early Help/ Signs of Wellbeing Process as of 23rd November 2018

  • Gain consent from the family to complete the Signs of Wellbeing Assessment
  • Signs of Wellbeing Assessment (See related files)
  • Complete the Signs of Wellbeing assessment with the family
  • Use the childrens tools to capture the child/ young person’ views and feelings as part of your assessment (see related files)
  • Click on this link to register and submit your Signs of Wellbeing Assessment through our secure portal or call 01782 232200.
  • Hold the first Early Help meeting and complete the family owned Signs of Wellbeing Plan and submit this via the secure portal

Signs of Wellbeing Meeting Guide for professionals (Feb 2019)

Early Help Signs of Wellbeing Plan

  • For information around services available to families please look at our service directory
  • Hold reviews of the Early Help every 6 – 8 weeks and submit each review via the secure portal until the family and professionals agree that the wellbeing goal are met

Early Help Signs of Wellbeing Plan Review

For further information contact:

  • Sam Schofield, Early Help & Young Carers Coordinator on 231964 or email  
  • For information, advice and guidance to help you to support children, young people and families, contact The Advice and Access Team on 01782 232200 or email  
  • or contact your Better Together Social Worker
  • or contact The Early Intervention Service Duty Telephone Numbers
Area Telephone number
  • Goldenhill and Sandyford
  • Tunstall
  • Little Chell and Stanfield
  • Burslem Park
  • Ford Green and Smallthorne
01782 232330
  • Great Chell and Packmoor
  • Bradeley and Chell Heath
  • Baddeley Green, Milton and Norton
  • Abbey Hulton and Townsend
  • Eaton Park
01782 232333
  • Burslem Central
  • Moorcroft
  • Sneyd Green
  • Etruria and Hanley
  • Birches Head and Central Forest Park
  • Joiners Square
01782 232345
  • Hanley Park and Shelton
  • Fenton West and Mount Pleasant
  • Fenton East
  • Bentilee and Ubberley
  • Sandford Hill
01782 232380
  • Hartshill and Basford
  • Penkhull and Stoke
  • Boothen and Oak Hill
  • Springfields and Trent Vale
  • Hanford and Trentham
  • Blurton West and Newstead
  • Blurton East
01782 232444
  • Hollybush and Longton West
  • Dresden and Florence
  • Broadway and Longton East
  • Lightwood North and Normacot
  • Weston Coyney
  • Meir North
  • Meir Park
  • Meir South
  • Meir Hay
01782 232685

Early Help and Young Carers Champions
Named champions should be nominated by partner agencies to cascade the use of the Early Help and promote Young Carers within their own organisations.

2019 Early Help and Young Carers Champion Meetings

There will be champions meetings in rounds (each round has 4 dates you can attend) throughout the year. Please note you only need to book onto one session per round of champions meetings.

Round Five
10/6/19 – 9.30am – 11.30am – Burslem Children Centre
13/6/19 – 1.30pm – 3.30pm – Burslem Children Centre
14/6/19– 9.30am – 11.30am –Westfield Children Centre
14/6/19 – 1.30pm – 3.30pm – Westfield Children Centre

To book on to one of these sessions please email the dates and times you would like to attend to   Please note we are unable to take telephone bookings for these events.

If you are interested in becoming an Early Help and Young Carers Champion please read the attached Champion Role description and then please contact Sam Schofield, Early Help and Young Carers Coordinator on 01782 231964

Useful links and tools:

  1. Guide to Levels of Need for Disabled Children - Parents Guide
  2. Early Help Strategy 2017
  3. Safeguarding and Young Carers procedure D09 
  4. Young Carers Referral From March 2019
  5. Stoke-on-Trent School Directory
  6. Step up / Step down process

Related Files:

Safeguarding Children logo