Early Help

Where can you find support?

Sandwell Directory of support

Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health Directory for Sandwell Children, Young Adults and their Families April 2024

Sandwell Family Information Service Hub

A directory that includes childcare, services, activities and information to support families. It also includes information, advice and guidance for childcare providers and early years practitioners. Search for services available locally and nationally:

Sandwell Family Information Service Hub

Sandwell Family Life website

Helping to make local support more accessible for children, young people and families.

There are currently over 460 activities within the community listed on the following link:

Sandwell Family Life Website

What is Early Help?

Early Help delivers services at the right time and in the right way to help families help themselves to meet the needs of their children. Early Help means working with children and families who are below the threshold of social care, to stop problems emerging and supports families to improve their situation. 

What are the indicators for staff that a child or family may need Early Help?

Any child may benefit from early help.  The following list provides examples of areas where, without intervention a family may break down or a child may be put a risk of neglect, emotional, physical or sexual harm. This also includes the risk of extremism. The school has no pre-prescribed criteria for supporting children and families. Each case is assessed according to needs and a bespoke programme put in place for that child and/or family:

  • low parenting skills
  • poor diet – obesity, malnourished;
  • low income or poverty;
  • breakdown in family relationships;
  • child mental health;
  • poor attendance and punctuality;
  • frequent house or school moves;
  • is disabled and has specific additional needs;
  • has special educational needs;
  • is a young carer;
  • is associated with gangs;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse;
  • has returned home to their family from care; and
  • is a privately fostered child.

Following the identification of a family who may require Early Help the school will seek to gain consent from the family to engage with the services who may be best placed to support them. This will most likely involve support from the Local Early Help support team who will work with the school to assess the needs of the family and to complete a ‘My Assessment’ this may also include a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting and the creation of a family My Plan Plus.

The levels of needs for each family is assessed on an individual basis and different levels of services can be accessed as a result. These may include the following:

Universal – All children

  • Family
  • Friends
  • School Staff
  • Governors
  • Breakfast Club
  • After School Clubs
  • Community Clubs (i.e. sports, arts etc.)

Community – Child or family need extra support

  • Family Support Worker
  • Assistant Head for SEND
  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
  • Police
  • GP
  • Health Visitor
  • Midwife
  • School Nurse
  • Food Bank
  • School Staff
  • LA SEN Team
  • Churches and Religious Leaders
  • Housing Association 
  • Landlords
  • Young Carers
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Job Centre
  • Traveller Support Services
  • Army Support Services
  • Interpreter
  • Education Entitlement and Inclusion Team (EEI)
  • Children’s Centre
  • Communication with Previous Settings

Specific – Child or family need specialist support

  • targeted Support Team (TST)
  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Social Care (Initial/Core Assessment)
  • Parenting Courses – Triple P, Families and Schools Together (FAST)
  • Paediatrician
  • Counselling
  • Play Therapy
  • 1:1 Therapy from specialist therapists
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Education Psychologist
  • Cruse Bereavement Care
  • The Samaritans
  • Compassionate Friends
  • Freedom Programme
  • Child Online Protection and Exploitation Centre (CEOP)
  • Channel Programme

Acute – Child or family need a high level of support to prevent harm

  • Social Care – Child Protection (CP), Child in Need (CIN)
  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Social Worker
  • Police – Police Protection Order (PPO)
  • Courts – Care Proceedings
  • Counselling
  • Therapy
  • Channel Programme