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Great Arley


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Our Early Help Offer

What is Early Help? 

Early Help means providing help for children, young people and their families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes. It is: 


  • for children and young people of all ages and not just the very young, 

  • can be very effective in supporting a child, young person and/or their family to step down from statutory services as well as preventing the escalation of issues. 

  • is important because there is clear evidence that it results in better outcomes for children. 


How can we help?  

At Great Arley School we strive to create a positive and supportive environment for all our pupils and their families. We know how challenging day to day family life can be and recognise that, in meeting the needs of your child whilst navigating the many challenges of modern-day life, you may require some additional support. 


This happens to all families who can have times when difficulties arise and they either may not recognise it or may not know how to start putting things right. If you, as a family, are struggling or if you have any worries or concerns about your child, our Early Help offer can provide much needed support and advice. This may include concerns about behaviour, mental health or general wellbeing. Should you require any support, please come and talk to us. You can contact the school office on 01253 821072 or email and ask for Mrs Johnstone, Mrs Kearney or Mrs Keogh who are all part of our WASP (Well-being and Safeguarding Personnel) team at school. 


Our WASP team work closely with external services, professional teams and practitioners such as the NHS Learning Disability Team, Social Services and care and support agencies. We embrace a multi-disciplinary team approach and at times, involve everyone that works with and supports a child to ensure a fully co-ordinated offer. 

In summary, our Early Help offer includes: 


  • A listening ear 

  • Advice regarding any SEND concerns that you may have. 

  • Working with other services and agencies who can provide specialist help – the school nursing team, social care. 

  • Contact details of organisations who can support with housing, financial or mental health concerns. 

  • Advice and signposting to appropriate support to promote good attendance as well as mental health-related barriers to attending school – for children, young people and parents and carers 

  • Referrals to outside agencies e.g. Learning Disability Team, SHINE, Child Action Northwest, CAMHS, Target Youth Support (CFWS) 

  • Access to counselling from professional therapeutic services in school.  

  • Support in accessing free school meals 

  • Support with uniform and PE kit. 

  • An Early Help Assessment to identify areas where you may benefit from support where we will be the lead professional 

  • Signposting to local food banks and charities who can support with other household needs such as furniture. 


Early Help Assessment, Plan and TAF meetings  

For those children and families whose needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, or where schools need the support of other agencies to meet the needs of the family, a coordinated multi-agency approach is usually best. In Lancashire this is achieved through undertaking an Early Help Assessment and assigning a Lead Practitioner (almost always someone from school) to work closely with you and your family to ensure you are listened to and receive the support you require. You, your family and the WASP team at Great Arley School will be key partners in any multi-agency work to support you and your family.  


The Early Help Assessment is an intervention with a family to gather, explore and analyse with them information about all aspects of the child or young person and their family’s life and then to identify areas where change will address support needs and positively impact on their lived experiences. This is recorded on an Early Help Assessment form which includes the family’s Early Help Plan. 


Your Family’s Early Help Assessment is available to all practitioners and professionals working with children, young people, and their families across Lancashire. Working alongside families from a holistic, strength-based approach when areas of support are first identified will stop escalation towards crisis and the need for more intensive and specialist intervention later on. 


Through the Early Help Assessment, plan, and Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings the wider partnership of services can provide families with the right support at the right time. To ensure your family will access the correct level of support at the right time, we use the principles set out in Working Well with Children and Families document. Lancashire County Council recognises that Early Help is a term that describes much of the everyday work of schools. 


Early Help in Lancashire

The vision of all partner organisations working with children and families in Lancashire is to improve children’s lives by working in partnership to raise aspirations, build achievement and protect the most vulnerable. This is based on the belief that: 


  • Children, young people and families develop resilience if there are protective factors in place such as a positive relationship with an adult; good literacy and communication skills; good school attendance and, parents who are in or ready for and actively seeking work. 


  • Children’s needs are best met when help is offered in a universal setting within a socially mixed group and early on when problems start to emerge. 


  • Children and young people’s needs are best met when addressed in the context of the whole family, meaning that parents/carers/siblings’ needs are addressed with consent as part of a holistic and integrated Early Help response. 


Early Help services should support and strengthen families so that they can thrive. 


Further information and useful links








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