Early Help Process Policy
“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.” - Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE, 2015)
Educational establishments provide universal services to children as part of their safeguarding approach. This includes the ways in which the establishment teaches learners to stay safe, keep others safe and promote a safe culture through their policies and procedures.
Sometimes children and families require some support and intervention in addition to the above and educational establishments can sometimes provide this from within their resources. This additional support could be put in place to improve a child’s attendance or behaviour or increase engagement with families with the aim of making life a more positive experience.
It requires multi-agency working so that children and families receive the right support at the right time, in order to prevent difficulties from escalating or needs from increasing. Since educational providers already have regular contact and good relationships with children and families they can often be the most suitable place for some early help to take place.
The early help process
The process for accessing early help will vary in different Local Education Authority (LEA). Each LEA is required to have a strategy for early help and procedures for referral and assessment. Many LEAs have an early help hub on their website.
EDClass Limited’s responsibilities
The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) – Cara Radford needs to know about
The LEA strategy for early help
The process for making early help referrals
The early help assessment process
How the LEA expects schools to be part of the early help strategy
The DSL should attend any training on early help offered by the LEA or the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
As part of early help support and intervention, the DSL may be in the position of being asked to take on the role of lead professional/practitioner.
This role includes:
Being the single point of contact for a family
Co-ordinating the delivery of agreed action
Reducing overlap of services and inconsistencies
More guidance on the role of lead professional should be available in the LEA strategy and the LEA or LSCB may offer additional training about this.
This policy is in addition to EDClass Limited’s child protection policy which runs in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016). The DSL will ensure that all staff are aware of early help in their LEA and this could be done via a staff briefing or bulletin after the DSL has attended training.