Early Help

Find out about Leicestershire County Council’s Family Help Service and how they can help you.

Leicestershire County Council’s Family Help Service (previously known as Children and Family Wellbeing Service) was established in April 2019 following the integration of four services:

  • Children’s Centre Programme
  • Information, Support and Assessment Service
  • Supporting Leicestershire Families (Troubled Families programme)
  • Youth Offending Service

Family Help provides early help services – these are services which may be offered at any point in a child or young person’s life, where the child is experiencing some difficulties which cannot be supported by universal services, such as schools or GP, alone. 

All referrals into Family Help are first taken by social workers in our First Response Children’s Duty team. This is to check that children are safe and don’t need a social worker. 

Sometimes, calls are made to parents and professionals involved such as teachers or nurses to get more information before they are passed onto the most appropriate team.

Professionals can ask for help for a family using the Multi-Agency Referral From (MARF)

Families can use our Request for Services online form. Requests for help can be made by a young person themselves, their family, friends or by professionals supporting them. Referrals must have the consent and engagement of families. You don’t need to know which service to ask for – we just need you to explain what you feel you need help with and what you feel might happen without support. We will also want to know what you may have already tried. Please have the necessary information ready – you have 60 minutes to complete the form.

Services Provided

Standard family support 0-19

Families who need help can access a range of services which include:

  • Thematic workshops
  • Group work programmes including Solihull Approach Parenting.From December 2019 the offer will be broadened to include Triple P parenting groups and workshops targeted at parents of disabled children, parents of primary aged children, and parents of teenagers.The workshops are being further developed with partners to include workshops for parents on issues such as tenancy management, debt and financial management, healthy lifestyles, etc.
  • SEND short breaks assessment
  • 8-12-week CBT based support for children 8-19 with low to medium level mental health difficulties
  • Following an early help assessment, one-to-one programmes of support covering issues such as household routines, behaviour management, coordination of services. This standard family support is provided for up to 12 weeks.

Enhanced family support 0-19

Enhanced support is an intensive offer which can be delivered in family homes, communities and schools, and may be in place for up to 12 months.  Keyworkers work alongside families to understand their needs through early help assessment and plan together with the family and other partner agencies to achieve good outcomes.

Supporting families with children 0-2

The service seeks to deliver a targeted service to improve outcomes for young children and families, with a focus on the most disadvantaged families in order to reduce inequalities in child development and school readiness. The programme aims to improve:

  • child and family health and life chances
  • parenting skills
  • parenting aspirations and emotional health and wellbeing

Planning for the programme is based on the latest research and evidence base for services, to ensure high quality outcomes are achieved, and is carried out in partnership with key agencies and services such as health and early learning and childcare. The model focuses on fostering emotional well-being and secure relationships with care givers that will support children’ s learning and emotional resilience and contribute to reductions in maltreatment.

The Local Authority SENDIAS Service is based within the Family Help Service. The service provides independent advice and support to families and young people experiencing difficulties with education and takes referrals directly from families.

Youth and Justice

Youth Work

Standard youth offer: time limited one-to-one support for young people which is typically for 12 sessions and may be complemented with group work

Enhanced youth offer: for young people who have more complicated neds and are likely to need support for longer, for up to six months. This may also be complemented with other interventions such as groupwork.

Youth Justice Prevention

Youth Workers – Crime Prevention, will work with children who are on the cusp of offending or have entered the Criminal Justice System through and Out of Court Disposal or a Community sentence, where appropriate.

Youth Justice

YOS Officers work on a one to one basis with children who have received an Out of Court Disposal, a Community or Custodial Sentence and some high-risk prevention children through the locality focused structure. The team includes prevention, pre-Court and post-Court Workers, qualified Youth Offending staff, Probation Officers, Police Officers and several specialist staff (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, accommodation, Prospects, substance misuse, housing and education workers). The Bail Support Service and Integrated Resettlement and Intensive Support Project are also located in the locality operational teams.

Youth Justice also includes other initiatives such as:

  • IMPACT Project, which is a team focused on street-based work in Anti-Social Behaviour hot spot areas
  • Restorative Justice Project which a has several Reparation Workers and a Victim Worker
  • Health Pathfinder Project for early intervention
  • Community engagement and ASB work
  • Practice and Performance Officer

Group Work

A core group work programme for children has been developed and includes:

Feeling Safe – a group for age 8+ who have experienced/witnessed domestic abuse

Bounce Back – a group to promote emotional health and wellbeing

Knowing the Risk – a group for children age 8+ who are involved in risk taking activities/negative peer associations

SEND Group – a youth group for young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Young Carers Group – a group for children and young people who have caring responsibilities for family members

Group Work is delivered by youth justice staff and family staff working together. The core offer is continually being reviewed to ensure that this meets the needs of Leicestershire children.