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Early Help for SEND families

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What is Early Help?

Early Help is someone working with you and your family so that any small problems don’t get bigger. If you are a parent of a child with additional needs, then Early Help may reduce the chance of your child needing higher levels of support in the future.

It’s for everybody from pregnancy up to 25 years if the young person has a disability

Early Help is also the gateway to other services such as ASDAT (Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team) and CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

Early help is everyone’s responsibility, any professional who knows your family will be able to talk to you about Early Help.

What do families & professionals say?

Watch our YouTube video about Early Help in Barnsley here

How can an Early Help assessment support with referrals?
  • An Early help assessment (EHA) with completed actions and review is needed to refer to the ASDAT team as mentioned above.
  • Evidence from an EHA can support an application for an EHCP
  • Referral to the Early Bird or Cygnet parenting programmes that offer support for children and young people with Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • An Early Help assessment is needed to access Targeted Youth Support
How do I get Early Help?
Talk a professional that knows your family the best. It could be a teacher, someone at your child’s nursery, your health visitor, your GP, or any professional who supports your family.

Tell them what’s working well and what you are worried about, 

Remember you are the expert on your child, or young person, and you will probably have an idea about what they need and what you think will help, this will be the starting point.


The professional will talk to you to understand what is happening and what help you and your family need, they will work with everyone in your family to make sure you get the report support at the right time.

They will complete an Early help Assessment with you.


What if I need more help?
If after working through the Early Help Assessment, you or the professional feels additional support is needed the professional working with you will talk to you about a Request for Service.


This means you will receive targeted support on a one to one basis to work through the issues. Support from Early Help is usually time limited but for SEND families the support will be there while there is a need.

Receiving early help or targeted support could include:
  • Attending a face to face or virtual parenting programme
  • Targeted support from a youth worker, family support worker
  • Referral to more specialist services
  • 1:1 support from professionals who have lots of experience helping families.

What if a professional says you don’t need Early Help
If as a family, you feel you understand what an early help assessment is and how it will help your family then professionals should complete an Early Help assessment.

Not every family needs a Early Help assessment.
Professionals may make some suggestions to try first to see if things improve before completing an Early Help assessment.

They may suggest:


Completing FREE online parenting courses.
 You can find details of Solihull Online Parenting courses here


Talking to a support service
You can search for services who can help here (opens in a new window)

You will find detail about:
  • How a service can help you
  • How to contact them
If you do not know the name of the service, you can search by using key words e.g. anxiety 


Join a group or book on some activities
You can search for Things to do here (opens in a new window)


Take a look at what’s on at your local Family Centre and book your place here.



Early Help for Professionals Only

The Early Help Toolkit

Find more information here (opens in a new window)

  • Undertaking an Assessment
  • Forms, leaflets and letters
  • Step between social care and early help
  • Thresholds for Intervention

Early Help Surgery

You should book on the surgery if you feel no progress is being made or need extra help

You must get consent from the family to discuss at the Early Help Surgery

What happens at the surgery?

The EHA will be reviewed

A plan of support with clear actions to help the family will be agreed

When is it?

Every Wednesday between 2pm and 5 pm

Where is it?

Worsborough Health Centre, Powell Street, Worsborough, S70 5NZ

How do I book?

Ring Social Care on 01226 772425

Email: MASH@barnsley.gov.uk



How to contact the Early Help team

If you have any queries about an active or closed EHA you should email earlyhelp@barnsley.gov.uk

Note : The Early Help team receive large amounts of emails daily so you may not get a response the same day . They will reply to your email as soon as possible


Jargon Buster : What does that mean?

Referral an application for support made for you by someone else, usually a professional.
Time limitedwork with people that only lasts a certain time E.g. a 6 week program of support.
Virtual sessiona session that is usually done using a computer, smart phone or other device that can get online.
SurgeryA meeting that could be face to face or virtual.
EHAEarly Help Assessment