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Early Help

All children deserve the best possible start in life - 'Right help at the right time'

 

‘Everyone in the City of York who works with children, young people and families, has a responsibility to support the delivery of Early Help and support them in accessing appropriate services’

 

 

As outlined in Working Together (2018) ‘Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe’. Early Help provides support at a time of need in a child or young person’s life and support can be given at any point including transition into becoming an adult.

 

An effective Early Help model is one of collaboration and brings together families, communities, professionals and systems to work together in a joined up co-ordinated approach to ‘ensure that children, young people and their families receive the right help at the right time’.

 

 

Early Help is a collaboration and NOT the sole responsibility of one service.

 

Families have interactions with numerous people and services and success lies with being supported by trusted professionals already involved with the family. 

 

Being able to work in partnership with children and families and bring in other agencies in a whole family approach team around the child and family.

 

We will look to achieve this through our mission statement ‘every conversation starts with the child’.

Through our practice model ‘Systemic Practice’ we will work collectively and collaboratively across all of our organisations and systems to ensure that we work with families as a whole rather than individuals.

 

What is Early Help?

‘Everyone in the City of York who works with children, young people and families, has a responsibility to support the delivery of Early Help and support them in accessing appropriate services’

Early Help is a collaboration and not the sole responsibility of one service. ‘Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe’ (Working Together, 2018).

Early Help provides support at a time of need in a child or young person’s life and support can be given at any point including transition into becoming an adult.  An effective Early Help model is one of collaboration and brings together families, communities,professionals and systems to work together in a joined up co-ordinated approach to ‘ensure that children, young people and their families receive the right help at the right time’.

Families have interactions with numerous people and services and success lies with being supported by trusted professionals already involved with the family.  

The City of York have adopted a collaborative approach in which families are supported by those who already know them and can assess and provide early intervention at a very early level.  Being able to work in partnership with children and families and bring in other agencies in a whole family approach.
Early Help also supports the reduction of children and young people accessing statutory interventions, targeted interventions and improves outcomes.

Concerned about a child and Thresholds

If you have a concern that a child is vulnerable or at risk of significant harm please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in York.

The MASH is a multi-agency team made up of representatives from a range of services, including Social Care, Early Help, Police and Health Professionals and is a single point of contact for all concerns about children. This partnership approach will make it easier to get children, young people and families to get the right level of support as quickly as possible.

 

The City of York Safeguarding Partnership (CYSCP) multi-agency ‘Threshold Document: Level of Need Descriptors’ provides a more aligned multi-agency framework for assessing and responding to need and risks of children and young people. This document is a guide and a starting point to assist practitioners to come to a common understanding. It provides help and guidance to practitioners at all levels, working in the statutory, public, voluntary and independent sectors who work with children and their families. It allows practitioners to identify levels of need and risk through the use of indicators related to outcomes. It also supports practitioners in determining how their service can best support and work alongside children.

Supporting Families

We use the principles of the Supporting Families Programme to underpin our Early Help and prevention work with children and families. The Supporting Families Programme is the delivery model for Early Help in York, and aims to ensure that those families who need help and support get it at the earliest opportunity and from the right people.

Great things happen when families build on their strengths, call on their support networks and tackle their problems head-on and early. Children, parents and carers are most able to build resilience with the right services at their side who know them well and can offer trusted guidance.

We'll ensure that families with an emerging need for support are linked with a known and trusted professional who will work alongside them in assessing the needs of the whole family, planning solutions to get things back on track. This person would ideally be a trusted person already known to the family who is best placed to work with them and to coordinate other services to support the family and get things back on track.

The Supporting Families Programme is driven by the desire to make sure that we include all family members, and that parents and carers feel comfortable in giving informed consent for services to share information, in a safe way, to support the family.

In this way we not only address the issues that families are experiencing at the time, but also improve their longer term resilience as a family unit. We can then help them to identify support.

 

When you identify that a family may need early help, please contact the Supporting Families team: supportingfamilies@york.gov.uk  to enquire if a team around the child and family is already underway or to register that you are supporting a child and family.

 

York Family Information Service/York Local Offer

The York Family Information Service is a free and impartial information service for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-19 (or up to 25 for disabled children).

They can help with anything and everything around family life and being a young person.

If you're a parent, carer or young person and have a question but don't know where to go, then please get in touch.

If you wish to contact York Family Information Service please email fis@york.gov.uk or alternatively you can contact them via Telephone: Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm 01904 554444, Text Only: 07786202241

Early Help Strategy

The new Early Help Strategy has been published and is available on the CYSCP Strategy page.   It is also available on the right hand side toolbar on this page.

Early Help Practice Guidance

The Early Help Practice Guidance. is available on the CYSCP Practice Guidance webpage.  It is also available on the right hand side toolbar on this page.

Early Help Assessment Tool

The Early Help Task and Finish Group has been published and is available on the CYSCP Tools webpage.  It is also available on the right hand side toolbar on this page. 

It is currently being piloted by some partners and will be updated following partner feedback.

Team around the Child or Family

Most families who need some additional support will achieve positive outcomes through an Early Help Assessment and Plan leading onto a Team Around the Family. Where the family and the team around the child and family are struggling to make progress to achieve outcomes, the support of a Child and family support practitioner can be requested.

There are 2 Early Help Targeted Intervention teams covering the city. These consist of skilled and experienced Child and Family Support Practitioners (previously Local Area Support Practitioners and Child In Need practitioners) who will be able to offer short term, time-limited targeted support as part of a Team around the child.

You can use your completed early help assessment to make a referral to the Targeted Intervention Service via MASH using the email address: earlyhelp@york.gov.uk

Targeted Intervention Service

If making a referral for Targeted Early Help support please submit a completed early help assessment to earlyhelp@york.gov.uk.

Information Sharing

Partner Agencies have worked together to develop a multi-agency overarching City of York and North Yorkshire Multi-agency Information Sharing Protocol to create a positive culture of sharing information and facilitate more effective Data Sharing practices between Partner Agencies, with the aim of improving service delivery.  Further information regarding this is available on the CYSCP About Us page.

The following documentation is also to be used when working with a family:

Early Help Privacy Notice

Early Help Consent Form

Communities and Prevention

The City of York Council’s approach is to place ward and neighbourhood level working at the heart of building resilient communities, recognising that local people are best placed to understand and find solutions to the particular needs of their communities. Through the development of a new City of York Council Communities and Prevention team, there is an opportunity to place an increased focus on prevention, early help and asset based community development, working across all life stages. It is intended that the team take a strengths based approach, seeing people as assets, recognising the core economy of friends, families and neighbours and building social networks and reciprocity.

The team will seek to build capacity in communities, mapping community assets with citizens and growing a culture of active citizenship and social action. It will also involve creating a wide reaching early help network, involving other parts of the council, schools, primary care networks, other agencies and partners alongside citizens and communities in order to support children, young people and families who are at the edge of social care, through a universal early help offer. Our children’s centres are also being reviewed to enable the co-design of new Family Hubs reflecting the ethos of the ‘supporting families agenda’,  ‘best start in life’ and ‘working together’ policy developments.

Further information is available on the following websites:

City of York Council Local Area Co-ordination

City of York Council People and Communities

Live Well York

 

Training

Any CYSCP Early Help Training will be added to the CYSCP  Multi-Agency Training page once it is available.

Early Help Launch

The Early Help Launch took place in early April 2022.  Three sessions were held virtually and there was excellent attendance.  It is planned for a recorded session to be added to the CYSCP website for professionals.  It will be uploaded here once it is available.

Early Help Archive 

Consultation

Early Help aims to support practitioners working together to improve outcomes for children and young people at an Early Help level.

The City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) have established a task and finish group to review how agencies assess children’s Early Help needs for support and how they collaborate with each other, partner organisations and services in the City of York to improve outcomes for children.

In order for the CYSCP to review how agencies working with children at an Early Help level can work together better, the CYSCP are consulting on your views and would like to invite you to a virtual consultation session on one of the following dates:

 

  • Early Help Consultation Session – Tuesday 6th July – 13:00-14:00
  • Early Help Consultation Session – Thursday 8th July – 17:30-18:30
  • Early Help Consultation Session – Monday 12th July – 10:00-11:00

To book go to MyLO at https://york.learningpool.com and search for the course title. Click ‘sign up’ next to the session you require. If you do not already have a MyLO login please follow the instructions on the right hand side of the login screen.

Early Help Survey Monkey Questionnaire and Privacy Notice

Please see below the link to the questionnaire regarding Early Help.  Please note this survey is now closed

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/earlyhelpconsultation

The closing date for this survey is Monday 17th May.

 

City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) Survey - Privacy Notice

We keep the privacy notice for staff surveys under regular review and we have used it to provide the privacy notice specific to the CYSCP Early Help Survey which is taking place from 27th April 2021 to 17th May 2021. When we use your personal data, City of York Council (CYC) complies with data protection legislation, and is the registered ‘Controller’. Our data protection notification is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – reference Z5809563.

Why will information be collected?

The City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) have established a task and finish group to review how agencies assess children’s Early Help needs for support and how they collaborate with each other, partner organisations and services in the City of York to improve outcomes for children.

In order for the CYSCP to review how agencies working with children at an Early Help level can work together better, the CYSCP are consulting on  your views and would like  you to complete this short survey to establish any areas for improvement, and to collate what works well for you when you are working with children and families. 

Feedback from the survey to help support the development of a consultation with partners, stakeholders and families. In addition, the information gained from the survey will inform the CYSCP about future developments of multi-agency Early Help documents.

We will explain why we are collecting personal data and will only use it with your explicit and informed consent.

Participation is voluntary and you can choose not to answer some of the survey questions. You can withdraw your consent at any time, by contacting: cyscp@york.gov.uk

Further information about the Survey or Early Help can be found here: https://www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk/early-help.htm

 

What information will be collected?

We do not ask for contact details, names or addresses in the feedback for the Early Help Survey. However, we will collect your thoughts and opinions. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to and whether the participant is a practitioner or partner.

What will we do with the information?

We will use the feedback from the survey to help support the development of a consultation with partners, stakeholders and families. In addition, the information gained from the survey will inform the CYSCP about future developments of multi-agency Early Help documents.

The results from the survey will be used to help us evaluate Early Help Practice across the City of York.

The information we collect may be included in presentations and or reports. Any data for publication or use outside of the authorised officers will be anonymised and will not identify any individuals. Reports containing anonymous information may also be shared with the general public and other organisations.

We will not use the data for any other purpose than stated and will not disclose to a third party i.e. other companies or individuals, unless we are required to do so by law for the prevention of crime and detection of fraud, etc.

Online data will be collected using Survey Monkey. To find out how they use your information, please click here.

Where will the information be kept

We will keep the information you give us and your personal data within the council’s secure network drive and make sure it can only be accessed by authorised staff.

How long will we keep the information?

We will keep the information you give us for up to three years and then will securely destroy it. Where required or appropriate to, at the end of the retention period, we will pass onto the City Archives any relevant information.

Further Processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, we will provide you with a new notice explaining the purpose prior to commencing the processing and the processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your consent prior to the new processing.

Your rights

To find out about your rights under data protection law, you can go to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/

You can also find information about your rights at https://www.york.gov.uk/privacy

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, want to exercise your rights, or if you have a complaint about how your information has been used, please contact us at foi@york.gov.uk or on 01904 554145 or write to:

 

Data Protection Officer

City of York Council

West Offices

Station Rise

York

YO1 6GA