Skip to content ↓

Early Help Practitioners

Early Help Coordinators: Provide support for practitioners who are working with children and families to meet their needs through the Graduated Pathway.  

Community Social Workers: Work with organisations to provide a social worker perspective on the families they are supporting. This supports practitioners to ensure families receive the right level of support and act as a link between children's social care and the community.  

Early Help Practitioner Managers: Support partnership work between organisations in communities to support the development of resources available to children and families.  

Our offer of Early Help respects every family’s right to access information to help manage their own lives successfully, whilst guiding them to seek support from appropriate sources to build on strengths within families. The ‘Offer’ is available for all children, as issues may arise at any point in a child or young person’s life. The support available includes universal, targeted and specialist services, to reduce or prevent concerns from escalating or becoming entrenched. They are assessed in accordance with Gloucestershire’s Levels of Intervention guidance. 

Figure one is a diagram illustrating how services support a continuum of need. 

Figure 1 


What are Universal, Targeted and Specialist provision for children, young people and their families? 

Universal: These will often be services that are available to all children and young people, and their families. They can be accessed without needing any specialist resources or assessment. 

Targeted: These are services for children and young people who may need additional support to access services or may need groups or services that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Some targeted provision can be accessed directly with or without an assessment. 

Specialist: These are services for children and young people with severe and/or complex needs who are likely to require even more support than is available either through universal or targeted services. These services will require an assessment of need. 


What is the role of the Lead Professional? 

Any professional can be a Lead Professional and should co-ordinate support services. A teacher, a Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCo), GP, Family Support Worker, School Nurse, Education Welfare Officer or Education Health Care Assistant could undertake the role; the lead may change over the lifetime of the plan as different needs are identified. The lead practitioner will always seek consent from the young person and their family before developing a graduated, multi-agency response. An assessment of need will be done holistically to inform either a My Plan or My Plan Plus. This assessment will also enable the SENDCo to build a picture of need and support that can be used in an application for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). 

If the family or young person will not consent to share information using an Early Help assessment or withdraws their consent for Early Help, school practitioners will continue to support the needs of the child or young person and their family through ordinary available provision and services. This will provide future opportunities to engage them with additional support, strengthen relationships and also allow for professionals to continue monitoring for safeguarding concerns. Should it be deemed necessary, a multi-agency service referral may be made if professionals believe a child to be at immediate risk of harm. Our three safeguarding partners, Police, Social Services and Health will support in agreeing whether the referral meets the threshold for Section 47 enquiries. This overrides the need for consent and will lead to either a single or joint assessment. 


What professionals and services are available? 

Pastoral Support from all teachers and support staff  Health Care Assistant  School Counsellor 
Educational Tutors  Education Welfare Officer  External mentors 
Education Psychology Service  Advisory Teaching Service  Speech and Language Therapist 
Early Help Coordinators  Community Social Workers  Youth Support Team 
Young Gloucestershire  Gloucestershire Young Carers  Young Minds Matter 
Teens in Crisis (TIC+) and other counsellors  Relate  Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) 
Safe Teenage Relationship Education & Empowerment Team (STREET)  Gay Glos – Mermaids Family Support Workers 
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)  School Nurse  Police and School beat officers 
Victim Support Team  Fostering and Adoption Support Edge of Care Team 
Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service SENDIASS  Winston’s Wish and other Bereavement support charities and organisations  Prevent 
Alternative Provision