Early help is offered by Warwickshire County Council and is about Accessing the Right Support at the Right Time.
It is about offering information, advice, guidance and support to families as soon as a concern emerges or seems likely to emerge.
Early Help is a spectrum of support, which means the help offered to a family can range from signposting to an informative website, right through to working with the family to complete an assessment called the Early Help Pathway to Change Plan. This is to ensure that families receive support from the right service at the right time.
All children, young people and families in Warwickshire are entitled to receive Early Help.
Families can approach anyone working with them who will respond with help. They will do so by starting a conversation with the family to help identify what help they require and identify how help should be provided. Early Help does not always mean early years. Although research shows that most impact can be made in those crucial first few years of a child’s life, Early Help can be needed and put in place at any time and at any age.
Early Help support can be accessed in different ways depending on the number and type of concerns such as:
The Family Information Service -01926 742274– easy access to information and universal access to direct advice and guidance. FIS facilitates this via telephone and e-mail helpline, outreach events at targeted locations throughout the County. They also provide 1:1 targeted support for families in their own homes via the FIS brokerage service. This effective early intervention delivers better outcomes for everyone.
The FIS service provides the following:
Helpline Family Information Service (FIS) provides information, advice and guidance for families with children and young people aged from 0 – 25 who reside in Warwickshire.
A wide range of information is available via the FIS website, social media, outreach and by telephone helpline/ email Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm. on a variety of subjects which include finance, SEND, housing and family relationships.
Online FIS provides a comprehensive suite of webpages to enable families and professionals to access information on a wide variety of subjects. Daily updates via FIS Facebook and Twitter pages deliver information that is relevant for families living in Warwickshire. A fortnightly electronic newsletter is also distributed.
Outreach The FIS Outreach service allows families, and professionals working with families the opportunity to access services face to face from a variety of locations including Children and Family Centres.
Brokerage FIS brokerage officers work with families on a 1:1 basis, delivering timely, focused, interventions assessed on the individual needs of families within Warwickshire.
Support offered enables parents and carers to access services where there are barriers such as mental health, disability, language or complex needs. This is practical Early Help support typically around housing, finance and accessing available services.
Examples of when FIS support is beneficial can include: • Family relationships • Finance • Housing • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) • Childcare • Health and well-being services • Grants/charity funding for families.
Parents and carers can self-refer into the Brokerage service or a referral form can be completed by a professional.
Children and Family Centres
Children and Family Centres deliver a range of provision both in the centres and as outreach provision. Barnardo’s are commissioned by Warwickshire County Council to manage and run 13 sites across the county.
Services are offered from 0-19 years of age and up to 25 for those with additional needs. There are 14 children and Families Centres:
Our local Children’s centres are;
• Warwick District: Kingsway, Lillington, Westgate
• Stratford District: Stratford, Lighthorne Heath, Alcester
Timetables can be found on the Barnardo’s and St Michael’s Children and Family Centre Facebook pages.
Parents can access support for their families easily in a range of ways.
Parenting support, advice and guidance can be accessed through:
• Online parenting support information (via Family Information Website)
• The Family Support Line-01926 412412 -Duty Family Support Workers in each district all week (9-4pm). This will enable a family or practitioner to have a same day telephone consultation regarding parenting or behaviour concerns.
• Online booking for short courses and parenting programmes to enable easy accessibility
• Online parenting courses (Triple P and Solihull Approach)
• Short courses – the ability to book onto short 2-hour courses in a range of subjects such as sleep, routines and boundaries, challenging behaviour and home conditions
• Parenting programmes: More in-depth support delivered through a variety of parenting groups available to meet a variety of needs, including Special Education Needs and Disabilities.
• 121 work: available via an Early Help Pathway to Change Plan.