Isle of Wight Council

Early Help Providers

Understanding Early Help

Early Help systems available to children and their families are made up of  three types of services:

  • Universal services
  • Community support
  • Acute and targeted services

They combine in different ways to form a local area’s Early Help offer.

Universal services include:

  • school nurses
  • GP surgeries
  • health visitors
  • maternity services
  • community coordinators
  • post-16 education services
  • schools
  • nurseries
  • children’s centres
  • libraries

Community support include:

  • family and friends
  • local places and environments
  • online support services
  • voluntary, faith and community services
  • local members of the community and  local businesses

Acute and targeted services include:

  • Mental health services
  • speech and language services
  • Job Centre Plus
  • special educational needs services
  • community nursing
  • accident and emergency
  • departments in local hospitals
  • children’s social care
  • targeted family support services
  • alternative educational provision
  • housing and homelessness support services
  • prison and probation providers
  • alcohol and substance misuse services
  • fire and rescue services
  • youth offending and youth services
  • family court and family court advisory services

Early Help Assessment (EHA)

There are many different services that make up the Early Help system. Sometimes a family or professional may decide that further  intervention is required and may offer you, or talk to you, about an EHA. The assessment can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support. The EHA will ensure that everyone involved with your child/family work together to support. The EHA will help your family receive the right support at an early stage before needs increase. As the EHA is a shared assessment, your  family will not have to repeat the same story to different workers. Find out  more about the Early Help Assessment (EHA).

Strengthening Families Programme (SFP)

SFP is the Isle of Wight’s response to the  national 'Troubled Families' initiative. It is a key part of the Early Help offer of services. It's designed to reduce or prevent specific problems from getting  worse. The programme covers the whole Island and the intensive support  is delivered by Barnardo’s. You can have Strengthening Families support along side other early help support. For example, an Early Help Assessment. Families will need a referral from a professional, such as teachers or health visitors. Families can also be referred by their local family centre. Like the EHA, participation in the  SFP is voluntary. Families who get involved with  the programme will be offered extra support to help them overcome the  difficulties they face. Eligible  families can be supported for 6 to 12 months. Find out more about the Strengthening Families Programme.