Early help, also known as early intervention, is support given to a family when a problem first emerges. It can be provided at any stage in a child or young person's life. At St Oswald's our aim is to ensure that we support the child's educational, social and emotional well-being.
Statutory guidance in each nation of the UK highlights the importance of providing early intervention, rather than waiting until a child or family’s situation escalates (Department for Education (DfE), 2018; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2017; Scottish Government, 2021; Wales Safeguarding Procedures Project Board, 2020).
At St Oswald's we use the QEG's Early Help Services which, following a referral can support families to access services who can deliver support to parents, children or whole families. Our main focus is to improve outcomes for children.
For example, services may help parents who are living in challenging circumstances provide a safe and loving environment for their child. Or, if a child is displaying risk-taking behaviour, early help practitioners might work with the child and their parents to find out the reasons for the child's behaviour and put strategies in place to help keep them safe.
Our aim is to reduce risk to a child's wellbeing. Therefore, we aim to support children through the QEG's Early Help;
- develop strong social and emotional skills
- have a strong social support network for the family – including support
- have good parental mental health
- income support, benefits and advice
- good community services and facilities