What is early help?
Early Help in Wokingham means:
- Providing targeted help at the right time in the life of the child through to adulthood (including pre-natal interventions)
- Anticipating where need may arise in priority groups, often by an understanding of wider services at the right time to meet the family’s needs and to keep them in control of resolving their issues and problems
- Stepping in to prevent escalation of children, young people and families needing any sort of specialist service
- When specialist intervention is needed, delivering permanent resolution in good time
In Wokingham our Integrated Early Help service provide whole family and group based support to children, young people and their parents/carers who have been assessed as being in need of more support than universal services provide.
We are based in Children’s Centres, Wokingham Youth Centre and the Family Resource Centre and our skilled staff work in community based centres, schools and family homes to ensure support is accessible.
We use a solution focused, strength based approach to help families and sometimes other professionals to identify what is working well for the children and family and agree on the areas that need to change. We will agree a time limited support plan to ensure our interventions help people make positive changes in their lives.
Our Youth Offending Service provide early help support to reduce the risk of exploitation and offending behaviour amongst young people as well as delivering post-court interventions.
Our children’s centres and health visitors work closely together to provide universal health visiting support and targeted whole family support for families with children under 5. Support with accessing entitlements and benefits, including 2 year funding grant is also available.
Visit our health services at children's centres page for more details.
Our targeted approach helps to break the cycle of families being dependent on services by increasing resilience in children and families and promoting the use of community based support.
Referrals are received through our Duty, Triage and Assessment team (DTA) our locality Social Work teams and through the Courts where it is felt that Early Help Interventions can reduce the risks associated with:
- Harm, neglect and social isolation
- Children going missing from home
- Exclusion from school
- Involvement in anti-social behaviour and offending
- Child exploitation
- Family breakdown/Edge of care
Referrals for Early Help support are discussed in a weekly Multi-Agency Early Help Hub where other specialist or community based support may be offered to families.