The Think Family Partnership (now the Start of Life Partnership Board) has produced an Early Help Action Plan for the period 2014/17 to show a shared partnership approach to providing help and support at the earliest opportunity for families experiencing problems in West Sussex.The Early Help Action Plan for West Sussex 2014-17 (PDF, 685KB)
Over the last decade the Government has highlighted the importance of safeguarding children and how developing early intervention services and support is key to achieving this.
One of our top priorities is to give every child in West Sussex the best start in life. Providing early help means providing family support as soon as a problem emerges. We will make sure that:
- our approach is smarter in the way we do things
- children, young people and families will get what they need sooner
- children live in strong protective families where they are safer
- children can achieve their potential.
Early Help starts with our universal services (schools, health service, police) and the better a family is supported by these services the less likely they are to need additional help. Families that do need additional support, beyond that they are already receiving, will receive the next level of support.
A 'whole family' approach ensures that children's needs and welfare are being met and maintained, as well as those of their family. This is done by working with the family, local communities and others already supporting the family. We also work closely with other family support services such as Think Family, children’s social care and those working with specialist needs.
The team at WSCC
The Think Family and Early Help team work alongside a number of internal and external partners across West Sussex, and all seven district and borough councils. We also call on the skill set and knowledge of services who work closely with families and children. These include heads and governors of schools, Sussex police, probation, health and maternity services and voluntary organisations.
It is important that all professionals working with children and families understand how to assess and determine levels of need and intervention.
The West Sussex Continuum of Need and Threshold Guidance helps practitioners identify when additional support may be necessary to help children achieve their potential and keep them safe, whilst enabling all practitioners to work together effectively and consistently.