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Early help for children and families

Early Help is taking action early and as soon as possible to provide support where problems are emerging for children, young people and their families, or with a population most at risk of developing problems. Early help support may be provided at any point in a child or young person’s life.

In Dudley, we are passionate about the wellbeing of our children young people and families. Our vision is that Dudley is a place where children and young people thrive.

If you are struggling or need help and advice you can:

Stourbridge Family Centre - Forge Rd, Stourbridge, DY8 1XF, 01384 818780
Halesowen Family Centre - Lye By-Pass, Stourbridge, DY9 8HT, 01384 813954
Brierley Hill Family Centre - 18 Parkes Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3DY, 01384 813322
Dudley North Family Centre - Bayer Street, Bilston, WV14 9DS, 01384 813096
Dudley Central Family Centre - Selbourne Road, Dudley DY2 8LJ, 01384 812440

Alternatively if you are a child or young person or are a family in crisis or if you have concerns about a child or young person please contact:

  • Children's Services single point of access service on 0300 555 0050 during office hours (9am - 5pm).

  • Out of office hours contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0300 555 8574 or in an emergency call 999.

  • Alternatively you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or email them by visiting www.childline.org.uk

More information about Dudley's Early Help Offer

The Early Help Strategy was endorsed by the Children and Young Peoples Alliance Board in February 2016. This strategy sets out the pathway for Early Help in Dudley and will ensure that the appropriate level of support is put in place for our children, young people and families. Investing in our children and young people now will ensure we build strong, resilient and thriving communities in the future.

9 Key Principles underpinning Early Help in Dudley

A set of core principles that will underpin Early Help in Dudley has been agreed, based both on local priorities, and on evidence of approaches that work to support children and families effectively. These are:

  1. The welfare of children and young people is our key priority - safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and all services will operate within the thresholds framework to safeguard and promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
  2. Early help is everyone’s responsibility - all services working with children, young people, and families have a role to play in the wellbeing of children, young people and their families
  3. The views and influence of children and young people are crucial in delivering and monitoring the Early Help strategy
  4. We will offer help as early as possible and before problems escalate.
  5. Working with the whole family produces the best outcomes, with all services involved with family members working together, and families only telling their ‘story’ once.
  6. Families are our partners - we will work together with families to become stronger, more resilient and better able to help themselves.
  7. Wherever possible early help will be accessed through universal services.
  8. Our approach and services will be evidence based and focused on what works for children and families
  9. All practitioners will have a shared vision and common skills to put the family at the heart of deciding and implementing solutions.

 

Cluster Working

A key part of the Early Help operating model highlights cluster based working as the preferred method of delivery for Early Help Services across the Borough. Five clusters will form the basis of delivery and operate from a newly formed 0-18 years (up to 25 years if the young person has a learning difficulty or disability) Family Centre in each of the Cluster areas; Brierley Hill, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley North and Dudley Central.

The Early Help Assessment

The Early Help Assessment forms a key part of the Early Help Strategy and is a simple way to help identify the needs of children, young people and their families and make a plan to meet those needs. It is designed to be a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Dudley who are delivering early help. It is a standardised approach so that all children and families have the same experience of identifying their needs, strengths and challenges. It also means that all agencies and partners are operating the same system which ensures consistency right across the partnership. 

The approach of early identification puts children and young people at the heart of the assessment and will prevent issues escalating to statutory services. 

If you require further information about Early Help or need support in completing an assessment, please contact the respective Family Centre Manager. If you are unable to return your completed EHA via secure email, please hand deliver to your local Family Centre.