Early Help & Referral
Early help is the principle of providing effective support as soon as difficulties emerge, preventing things from becoming worse.
In Hounslow, we aspire to the following within delivery of early help:
- Services responding effectively as soon as possible when difficulties emerge, at any time throughout a child or young person’s life.
- Help is available to families in the early years of a child’s life to ensure young people have the best start in life.
- They have access to good quality universal services.
- Effective anticipatory interventions are put in place for families when there is evidence that there is a likelihood that problems will emerge in the future.
Hounslow Early Help Strategy
London Borough of Hounslow and partners are developing a new Early Help Strategy to drive the borough’s approach in 2019 and beyond.
The Hounslow Early Help Strategy aims to support positive outcomes and experiences for children, young people and their families. We aim for all agencies to deliver collaborative, co–produced and co-ordinated early help services that build on strengths, develop skills, nurture resilience and hear the voice of children, young people and their families, especially when they are experiencing difficulties at home or in the wider community. The strategy reinforces our collective responsibility to keep children and young people safe, healthy, engaged in learning and to support those who care for them to be emotionally, socially and economically resilient.
The Strategy will move towards our vision by delivering:
- Collective aims and outcomes for early help across all services in the borough, including an agreed format for measuring multi-agency success
- Development of the Hounslow Early Help Offer – services for families and support for practitioners
- An agreed multi-agency early help practice approach
- Easily accessible information and co-ordinated pathways for early help
The Strategy is anticipated to launch in September 2019: please check back for updates.
The Hounslow Early Help Offer
The Hounslow Early Help Offer is a collection of services which aim to provide effective support to families as soon as difficulties start, to prevent them from getting worse. These services cover a range of areas, from parenting to health to education to specialist support for teenagers. A family’s school, nursery or GP will also be able to help.
Practitioners in these services will discuss with families where things are working well and where they need extra support. They will help families to move forward and to access additional services where these may be able to help.
View information on the Hounslow Early Help Offer
Hounslow Thresholds Guidance & Assessment Protocol
The Hounslow Threshold Guidance and Assessment Protocol provides revised and up-dated guidance to determine local thresholds and an assessment protocol to assess and support children with additional needs, and their families.
The guidance has been developed by Hounslow Children’s Services in consultation with Hounslow Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HSCP) and includes Children’s Services assessment protocol to clarify professional responsibilities, expectations and ensure that children and young people receive timely:
- Early help services to prevent problems escalating, and;
- Statutory services to safeguard and promote their welfare
The guidance is primarily targeted at professionals who meet children and families and have a concern about a child’s development, welfare or safety. Understanding and appreciating how local thresholds are applied will help professionals decide what to do and inform the action that they take. This will enable services to work well together and in the best interests of children and families.
It is expected that practice across all agencies within Hounslow is underpinned by the following two key principles;
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part, and;
- Child-centered approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.