Early help for families

What is early help?

We know it is better to provide focussed support when problems first emerge, rather than delivering a more costly statutory intervention when the needs have escalated. The right early help services at the right time can prevent emerging problems from getting worse and becoming deep seated or entrenched. Through our Early Help Strategy we aim to improve outcomes for children and families in Southampton and at the same time reduce the demands upon specialist and statutory, higher tier services.

When a child/young person/family needs something extra, early help is the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families. This builds an understanding to address extra needs and prevent situations from getting more difficult for children and young people. The aim of Early Help is to build on people's strengths and resources to manage their own dilemmas, resolve their own difficulties and prevent further problems in the future.

In Southampton, most children, young people and family’s needs are met by universal services (services that are available to everyone). For those children and families who need some additional help, our Children and Families First Services will provide support and expertise to the child and family. Building on a One Family, One Worker, One Plan principle the Early Help Assessment, will ensure they receive all the support they deserve.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about accessing support for a family, then please visit our Children and Families First page.

For professionals, you can find out more about the Families Matter programme.