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What is Early Help?

Early Help means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge, or when there is a strong likelihood that problems will develop in the future. 

Early Help:

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

Why would I want Early Help intervention?    

At John Burns Primary School we understand that family life can, at times, be difficult and complicated and we recognise that there may be situations where you need extra help and support.

Sometimes families need support from a wide range of agencies or people, for example, health services, housing services, family support workers, social workers and local police.  As a school, we may be able to signpost a range of services to support families beyond the educational setting.   

It could be that you are worried about your child’s health, development or behaviour. It might be linked to money or housing. It could also be linked to domestic abuse, drugs, alcohol, or crime. 

The following list provides examples of areas where, without intervention a family may break down or a child may be put at risk of neglect, emotional, physical or sexual harm: 

  • Parenting skills - establishing routines and boundaries/discipline/toileting/feeding/education/health
  • Poor diet – obesity, malnourished
  • Financial difficulties - low family income or poverty
  • Loss of job/employment
  • Homelessness/living in refuge/temporary accommodation/overcrowding
  • Frequent house or school moves
  • Addiction - substance/alcohol abuse
  • Arrival of a new baby/new (step) brother or sister
  • Parents separated/divorced/left
  • Domestic Violence
  • Serious illness in the family 
  • Family member arrested
  • Witness to a crime or accident
  • Death in the family
  • Bereavement
  • Being a young carer
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Child mental health
  • Adult mental health
  • Disability of a child
  • Disability of an adult/family member
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Poor attendance and punctuality
  • Poor behaviour and risk of exclusion
  • Child unaware of how to keep themselves safe online
  • Child unaware of danger and how to keep themselves safe
  • Child demonstrates sexualised behaviours
  • Extremist views
  • Involved in anti-social or criminal activity
  • Is associated with gangs
  • At risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation

Where can I get Early Help intervention?

If you feel you and your family might need support to solve some problems, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the safeguarding team:
  • Mr Grogan (Headteacher) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Mr Taylor-Graham (Deputy Headteacher) is a Deputy Safeguarding Lead
  • Mr Bowman (Assistant Headteacher) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Miss Shettle (Inclusion Leader) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead  

A member of the safeguarding team will meet informally with you in the first instance and this can be followed by an Early Help Assessment.   

Early Help Assessment undertaken by the school is only available during term time.

Early Help services in Wandsworth are delivered from three cluster hubs around the borough.

John Burns Primary School is part of the Battersea Cluster hub.

Contact details:

  • Head of Battersea Cluster - 020 8871 7795
  • Team Manager for Children, Young People and Families - 07976 979 308
  • Team Manager for Early Years and Learning - 020 7720 5515 (temporarily)

What is an Early Help Assessment?

Children and families will be supported through the Early Help Assessment process by the school. 

Click here to take open a copy of the Wandsworth Early Help Assessment form. This form stops the need for multiple assessments where families have to repeat the same information to different professionals.      

What happens following an Early Help Assessment will be different for every family.  The level of need is assessed on an individual basis and different levels of services can be accessed as a result.  This may include support from a range of professionals from within and beyond the school.     

Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings may be held in school to identify what is working well, what needs to change and to agree actions to help and support families. This ensures that we work together and meet regularly with professionals to get the best outcome for the family.    

The Early Help Assessment is a voluntary process. You choose whether to be involved and can withdraw from the process at any time.  

What Early Help support could be made available to my family? 

Support for families includes: 

  • Providing information and signposting to other services in your local area 
  • Liaising with external services e.g. Housing and Children Social Care
  • Attendance and support at school
  • Support during appointments and in meetings
  • Help to complete paperwork and forms e.g. housing, school letters, grant applications and benefits
  • Advice and support to promote good attendance
  • Referrals to outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapists
  • Guidance with access to training and parent workshops in school
  • Emotional support for parents
  • Lead on Early Help Assessments and TAF (Team Around the Family) meetings 
  • Give parents access to Disability events and training events
  • Support for transitioning pupils