Prevention and Early Help

Prevention and Early Help

Prevention and Early Help


Prevention and Early Help is not a specific service but a collaborative approach across all agencies that work with children, young people and families, who will work together to improve the outcomes for children, young people and families. It is the support provided for children, young people and their families to respond when difficulties begin to emerge or to stop problems developing in the future. This support can be provided at any point in a child’s life to stop small problems getting bigger.


Bradford’s Prevention and Early Help offer involves a wide range of partners all playing key roles in providing access to information, support and the tools needed to help build the resilience of children, young people and families. The aim is to identify and build on a family’s’ strengths and work towards them being able to resolve their own difficulties, develop skills and better manage future challenges.


What support is available to all families?


As part of our prevention and early help offer, we have Family Hub areas across the Bradford district. Here we offer services to all families from midwives and health visitors, to stay and play sessions, to carers resource to youth service sessions to SEND support .The hubs also deliver targeted support groups in partnership with other organisations like local schools and the voluntary sector. The fyi website has a timetable of events in our hubs . We also offer ten evidence based parenting programmes to all parents/carers across the district.  You can make a referral from our fyi website/parenting courses, parents/carers  can also self-refer.


Ensuring Early Help is effective


What does effective Early Help feel like for children and families?

  • We only have to tell our story once.
  • We are listened to, heard and respected at every stage of our journey through early help.
  • We can have early help for the whole family.
  • We can focus on strengths and building resilience.
  • We have a trusted individual in our lives that we can confidently turn to for help when we need it.
  • We are supported to think about what to change and how we might make those changes.


What does effective Early Help feel like for practitioners?

  • A graduated approach to identify what help the child and family need to prevent needs escalating. 
  • A whole-family approach that addresses the children’s needs in the wider family context. 
  • An assessment plan for a child and family who would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency. 
  • A multi-disciplinary approach, bringing a range of professional skills and expertise in a Team Around the Family. 
  • Practice which empowers families and helps them to develop the capacity to resolve their own problems. 
  • A relationship with a trusted lead practitioner who coordinates the support needed from other agencies.


Our approach to Early Help


Our approach is about providing the right level of support at the right time.  If more or different support is needed, it builds on the support already in place and from the understanding of what has worked/not worked in the past. This includes:

  • Helping people to help themselves - providing accessible information, advice and support.
  • Understanding the person and being able to apply a person-centred approach.
  • Identifying additional needs early.
  • Using holistic assessment to understand needs and strengths of the whole family that might not be known already.
  • Being committed to work in partnership with all agencies.
  • Listening to parents and carers and involving them as fully as possible.
  • Involving other practitioners and agencies as needed; Sharing information with consent.
  • Being clear about everyone’s role; Identifying the Lead Practitioner.
  • Setting SMART outcomes.
  • Agreeing a plan of action and review date.
  • Reviewing progress - Are outcomes being met?  If not, why not? What needs to change? Do we have all the information we need?


You can find more information about the Early Help Pathway on the practioners section of the fyi website


Early Help and the role of the Lead Practioner (LP) across the Bradford District


Partners can complete an Early Help Assessment with the family they are working with and receive support from a dedicated  Early Help Coordinator. The Early Help and Prevention Service has a dedicated Team of Early Help Coordinators and Family Hub Managers working across the District who are solely to support partners to carry out the Lead Practitioner role and to support them to enhance a more coordinated approach between agencies that will help improve outcomes for families. This means we can progress support needs in a more timely manner for families and use information to target greater areas of need with local support from all agencies whilst you will have dedicated people to support you in your local area


We have also developed a learning and development programme that has 4 key modules which are; Early Help Assessment and SMART plan, Team Around the Family- chairing meetings and engaging multi-agency partners, Scaling and Measuring Impact and outcomes and supporting and enabling the Lead Practitioner role. This means we can support you through the process at each step of the way.


The practioners section of the  fyi website is home to all the information, training and resources needed to support you.


Here are four leaflets, one for each family hub, that you can print out for families - East HubSouth Family HubWest Family HubKeighley and Shipley Family Hub


What is a Lead Practitioner?


The Lead Practitioner is the named professional, identified as the person who will be the family’s main point of contact while they need a coordinated Early Help package of support. They will be one of a number of practitioners already working with the family. For more information about the role of Lead Practitioner  please see our Lead Practitioner Handbook 


We have a Lead Practitioner Toolkit - updated termly that we will no longer be updating as we move forward. You can find information, advice and services to support families on our Families and Young Persons Information website (fyi)


What is an Early Help coordinator?


Most families who need some additional support will achieve positive outcomes through an Early Help Assessment and Plan which could lead onto a Team Around the Family, drawn from universal service provision, for example schools, health visiting. Where the family and the team are struggling to make progress to achieve outcomes, the skills of an Early Help Coordinator can be drawn upon.

Early Help Coordinators work alongside Lead Practitioners and others in universal services offering:


Consultation: about individual children and families using the Continuum of Need and Risk Tool, Signs of Safety methodology, and supporting the Lead Practitioner to analyse evidence when children’s needs have not been met through the plan.


Co-working: supporting Lead Professionals with information sharing to enable a good quality assessment to be completed, co-chairing initial meetings, or supporting a TAF if required  ( for example where there are disagreements, or where progress is not being made)


Coaching: through face to face meetings to ensure that assessments and plans are accurate, SMART, and meet the needs of the whole familyacting as a role model for effective practice that relies on assertive, persistent, time-bound and challenging style of casework;


Collaborating: to co-design bespoke packages of support, guidance and practical tools to support practitioners when working with families;


Consistency, by quality-assuring multi-agency Early Help plans and providing feedback to the Lead Practitioner and their manager.


What if I feel that a child/family may ned more targeted support because they have complex issues or I feel there may be a safeguarding issue?

The Integrated Front Door is a team made up of workers and managers from Early Help, Social Workers, Education, Police and Health. They have a dedicated Practitioners Advice and Guidance telephone number to share information of any concerns you have about a child/young person and/or their family within the Bradford District or to make a referral. You can contact them during office hours by calling 01274 433999.


Prior to making a referral, all Practitioners need to:




Page owned by Kate Hopton, last updated on 09/06/2023. This page has been viewed 28,218 times.

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