Early Help service

Information and advice to signpost professionals and families on to local authority services, as well as accepting referrals on behalf of the City of London's early help services.

What is Early Help?

Children and their families can sometimes require support when things are not going as well as they could be. The City of London’s Early Help team works alongside children and their families to make positive changes to people’s lives, supporting them so they can access relevant services to prevent any difficulties from worsening.

Early intervention means identifying and providing effective early support to children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes. Effective early intervention works to prevent problems occurring, or to tackle them head-on when they do, before problems get worse. It also helps to foster a whole set of personal strengths and skills that prepare a child for adult life.

The Early Help service works with children and young people from birth up until they are 18 (from birth up until 25 for those young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families where there are emerging needs or difficulties.

These difficulties can include anything that affects health, development, wellbeing and the safety of children and young people, for example:

  • families with significant housing needs
  • families where a parent/carer is experiencing mental health difficulties
  • children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • children and young people experiencing stress and anxiety
  • children with behavioural difficulties or disorders
  • children who have a caring role for another member of their family.

An Early Help worker will encourage you to think about your individual circumstances – the things that are going well and the things you may need some help with or would like to change.

With your input, an Early Help worker will complete an family plan describing the goals you’d like to achieve and listing actions required to support those changes.

The City of London Corporation’s Early Help Team can then offer a range of support services. These will be tailored to individual circumstances but could include:

  • advice and advocacy
  • signposting to universal or specialist services
  • one to one practical and emotional support for children, young people, parents and carers
  • direct work with children
  • targeted parenting support
  • short breaks advice and support for children with disabilities

Our Early Help model encourages joint working between all those involved in receiving or delivering services. This may result in a few different professionals helping you and your family.

If there are a number of workers supporting you, we will ensure that one person acts as your main point of contact. This person is called the Lead Professional.

Someone who is already working with you or your family can make a referral to the City of London Corporation’s Early Help service by contacting the Children and Families Team.

You can also request support yourself by speaking to someone who is already working with your family or by contacting the Children and Families Team directly.

You can contact the Children and Families team by calling 020 7332 3621 or emailing children.duty@cityoflondon.co.uk.