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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 revised Early Help Strategy was endorsed by the Children and Young Peoples Alliance Board in April 2018. 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.

Our Pledge

  • We Will Make Every Contact Count

The first conversation is often really important and we understand the importance of handling this well. Whoever is chosen to be the person the child, young person or carer talks to, is the one who has the responsibility to make sure the response is a helpful one.

  • We Will Listen To You And Not Judge You

We will show you we are listening and not judging you. We will care about the issues you share and will do our best to help.

  • We Will ‘Work With You’ – And Not ‘Do To You’

We will not tell you what to do. We understand you know yourself and your family best. We will enable you to help yourself and won’t make you feel ‘done to’.

  • We Will Give You One Point Of Contact

We will work with you to identify a lead professional. That may be the person who first understands you need help, or it may be someone better placed to help you, but there will be one point of contact. This person will be your first point of contact who will help make sure the right support is in place.

  • Our Assessments Will Be Uncomplicated And Robust

We will make sure we understand your situation and will write it down. We will share it with you to make sure you agree. We will talk to family members and sometimes other professionals with your agreement to make sure we have understood your situation.

  • We Will Take Care Of Your Information

We will look after your personal information and make sure you give us consent before we share it. We will only share it without your agreement if we feel a child or young person is at risk and the law says we must share it for  
safeguarding reasons

  • We Won’t ‘Pass The Buck’

We will help you at the point of enquiry and won’t pass you to someone else until we know they will help you. We will do our best to draw in the support needed rather than just refer you on, not knowing whether help will follow.

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.