Find out what early help is available for children, young people and their families who may need some extra support, and how to get it.
What early help means
Early help (in B&NES) is when we provide support to children, young people and their families as soon as problems start. When a child, young person or family need some extra support, early help is often the first response. This can be provided by the services you are already in contact with.
We will work together with you and your family to identify emerging needs and any inequalities at the earliest opportunity to ensure that help is available to support and empower you to address needs and prevent them getting worse - giving you the right help, at the right time, by the right service.
How to get early help
We recommend that you speak to a professional you might already be in contact with if you need some extra support. They may be able to complete an Early Help Assessment (EHA) to assess your needs or make a referral to another service for you.
Examples of different professionals you can speak to:
- Early Years provider
- Health Visitor
- School nurse
Early Help Assessment (EHA)
You can ask a professional to complete an EHA with you or your family. They will use the EHA form to ask you some questions to identify what is going well for you and your family and what you need help with. Find out more about the EHA and our Integrated working team on our web page, or call 01225 395448. to speak to one of the team.
Refer directly to another service
You can either refer yourself to a service or speak to a professional and ask them to do this for you.
We provide the following services (direct from us, the council). These are sometimes referred to as targeted early help services:
- Connecting Families team–who provide help and support to families with children and young people with multiple and sometimes complex needs (if eligible)
- Children's Centre services–who offer general family support for families who have at least one child under five years old, and provide personal and employment skills support, and home learning services
- Compass (part of the youth offending team)–crime prevention service that works with young people aged 8–17 years old who may be at risk of becoming involved in offending behaviour and crime
We also commission other targeted early help services, such as:
- Family Support and Play Service (provided by BAPP & Southside)
- Volunteer mentoring (provided by Mentoring Plus)
- Targeted youth support (provided by Youth Connect South West)
- Bath West Children's Centre (provided by Action for Children)
If you don't know which service is best for you or your family, you can search our Live Well website - this is a directory of different services, groups and organisations within Bath and North East Somerset for children and families.
Live Well includes Ofsted-registered childcare, parenting support, information to support a child with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND), to list just a few.
Early Help App
Download our free Early Help app for details of all of our services (including our commissioned early help targeted support services) from the Apple or Android store, or by searching for ‘B&NES Early Help’.
The app is designed for professionals, but parents and carers may also find it helpful.
If you have decided that a child, young person or family has multiple issues and needs intensive support, or you cannot locate the right service, you can make a referral to our Early Help Allocation Panel (EHAP) - a panel of local professionals with a wide range of experience who will try to recommend the right help.
If you are a professional
If you are a professional making a referral, please contact the service or organisation you think is best for the child, young person or family directly.
If you're not sure where to go, search our Live Well website. Alternatively, the 'threshold of needs matrix' (listed on this page) document should help you think about the children and young people you work with, and which level of support might be right for them.
If you cannot locate the right service, you can also make a referral to our Early Help Allocation Panel (EHAP)