All children and families are not the same – but they all deserve to be safe, happy, and ready for life’s challenges.
The council’s Early Help team is there to offer a helping hand to local families, no matter what their problems. By providing support early on, the aim is to sort problems and crises before they develop into something bigger.
Early Help enables young people and families that have become overwhelmed by difficulties to make better choices, learn new skills, have aspirations, and turn their lives around. It also supports children to be ready for school and achieve in school, and be more likely to achieve their full potential.
The service is made up of a number of partner agencies who work together to respond quickly to the needs of families, young people and children. These include: schools, aged 0-19 health services, midwifery and youth support; plus mental health services, children’s centres, the voluntary community and faith organisations.
Early Help is available for all families and children. Wherever a family lives in Wirral, the team can connect them to the services they need.
What does the Early Help team do?
The team talks to professionals, parents, carers and young people to find out what their concerns are and help to find the right solution as quickly as possible.
Sometimes, issues can be solved by talking to someone who is already familiar with the family – such as a health worker, teacher or youth worker. But some issues need more support from someone who has experience of dealing with similar situations.
How does it work?
After listening to families’ concerns, the team will identify what the difficulties are and work to provide the right support, at the right time.
It might be that one professional or service can help, or that the family needs a range of different professionals at different times. This is known as Team Around the Family (TAF).
The Early Help team will track the support given to make sure the family gets the help it needs. If it needs more support, the team will talk to them again to see what further help can be given.
An example of Early Help
A dad contacts the Early Help team as he is worried about his daughter’s recent change of behaviour. The team listens to him and suggests some different services which might help – dad agrees that counselling support could be useful.
The Early Help team then suggests that Dad speaks to his daughter’s school, as they may have some insight into the change of behaviour and might have support available in school. The team also puts him in touch with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for advice, and suggests Response Youth Support in Birkenhead as a further option; should his daughter prefer counselling provided outside of school. Dad and daughter can now decide if either of these services would help.
Dad said he was pleased as he hadn’t known what to do or what services were available for him to consider. He was invited to contact the team again should he feel these services alone were not achieving positive change or helping his daughter, and in case they needed a bit more help.
How to get support from the team
You can call the Early Help team directly on 0151 666 5126 and someone will call you back within three working days.
You can also ask any agency or professional you know to arrange Team Around the Family support – including a youth worker, Children’s Centre worker, health visitor, school nurse or teacher.