Support for 11-16 year-olds

Guidance for professionals on support for 11-16 year-olds.

1 Overview

The Early Help service's progressive 'universal' offer is developed on the West Sussex Continuum of Need and the Healthy Child Programme's four levels of service. This means some services are open to all children and families, while other elements of the offer are more targeted and specialist.

The universal offer is available to all children, young people and families in addition to any targeted or specialist support that they may be receiving at levels 2 and/or 3.

If you require further information, please contact your local Early Help hub.

Note: Depending on whether an 11 year-old attends junior or secondary school, or a 16 year-old attends secondary school or college, our offer for 11 and 16 year-olds can overlap.

2 Level 1 (universal services)

Level 1 universal services are available to all children, young people and families.

For 11-16 year-olds, they include:

  • a universal health questionnaire for all pupils in years 7 and 10
  • access to the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme
  • access to the Youth Cabinet and West Sussex Youth Parliament
  • access to the ChatHealth texting service
  • access to Find It Out services
  • access to the Your Space website
  • access to Free Your Mind – young people’s emotional health and wellbeing campaign group
  • the offer of a termly conversation for each school
  • support for schools on delivering relationship and sex education and other personal, social and health education
  • mobile provision in selected rural locations.

3 Level 2

Level 2 services are available on a needs basis in addition to the level 1 universal offer.

For 11-16 year-olds, they include:

  • referrals to other agencies/specialist services
  • advice or support on an identified health need such as emotional health, sexual health, minor illness/accident prevention or behaviour (6-8 sessions, either 1-1 or in a small group)
  • support from the Healthy Futures team for vulnerable children, young people and families with complex child development, health, emotional, and social needs
  • access to the Youth Emotional Support (YES) service for young people aged 11-18 who have issues that are affecting their wellbeing
  • 1-1 or small group work as a follow up to the health questionnaire for years 7 or 10 
  • follow up support for attendance at A&E, minor injuries or urgent treatment centres
  • parenting support programmes, either 1-1 or in a group
  • health care plan support for individual students with medical conditions in school following an identified need or a school's request (the school will lead on this)
  • evidence based 1-1 and small group support specifically for young people. These focus on strengths and promote positive behaviour change, including resilience, emotional health and wellbeing, behaviour, bullying, anxiety and anger.

4 Level 3

Level 3 services are available on a needs basis in addition to the universal and level 2 offer.

For 11 - 16 year-olds, they include:

  • information, support, advice and signposting from West Sussex Young Carers service, which supports young carers aged 5-18
  • advice or support on an identified health need such as emotional or sexual health, medical conditions or behaviour (6-8 sessions, either 1-1 or in a small group)
  • Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) support for young parents
  • Youth Emotional Support (YES) service for young people aged 11-18
  • youth homeless prevention support for 16-17 year-olds that present as homeless. Help is also provided to resolve housing issues and refer the young person on for further support if required.

5 Level 4

Level 4 services are delivered in addition to the universal and levels 2 and 3 service offer as part of a 'specialist' delivery offer.

For 11-16 year-olds, they include:

  • Youth Offending Services
  • health support for children and young people who are subject to a child protection plan
  • enhanced Healthy Child Programme service delivery to all children who are looked after
  • 1-1 support or intervention with a child, young person or family where there is an identified health and safeguarding need, such as a child protection plan, child and family plan, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation (MaCSE) involvement, or the child or young person is looked after.

6 Referrals

GPs can access help and support for children and young people by making a direct referral. Please use the relevant form provided on the section linked below.

Information for GPs

NHS West Sussex Partnership Single Point of Access (ages 4-18)

The West Sussex Single Point of Access (SPoA) is a dedicated service which provides a simplified single route to access specialist emotional wellbeing and mental health support. The SPoA helps direct you to the right service, eliminating the need to refer to multiple services.

Led by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the service is delivered in partnership with West Sussex County Council's Youth Emotional Support Service (YES) and YMCA Dialogue.

e-wellbeing is the digital front door for West Sussex SPoA. Visit the e-wellbeing website for the online referral form and more information.

If you are unable to complete the online referral form or have any questions about a referral, please email or phone 030 030 40462.

7 Working in partnership with West Sussex Scouts

Scouting has many opportunities for a child to develop their social skills, self-confidence, respect for authority and personal leadership.

We have a partnership agreement with West Sussex Scouts which supports eligible children referred by keyworkers or partner agencies.

This means the child:

  • is prioritised for scout membership
  • may qualify for help with financial necessities. This means families can liaise with leaders about support towards the cost of buying a uniform or paying for trips and activities.

Find out more about the referral process on the West Sussex Scouts website.

Contact us

Last updated:
20 February 2024
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