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Family Support and Advice

The Family Information Service is here for you!

Providing a free confidential advice line offering guidance and emotional support on any aspect of parenting and family life.

Many families may be finding current circumstances difficult and worrying.  Whilst having more time together as a family can be a pleasure, the additional pressures of home schooling, managing your child’s anxiety and not seeing friends and loved ones is a challenge for us all. 

We can help you….

  • Let us know what is going on for you and what is causing you concern.  No worry is too small or too big for us to support you with.
  • Once we fully understand your concerns we can think through together how you and your family can overcome your problems.  This may involve us recommending someone else to help you, we may help you access useful websites or resources or we might agree together some practical approaches you can try and call you back to see how you got on.
  • Unfortunately we are not able to offer legal, financial or medical advice but can always put you in touch with someone who can.

 How to contact us….

Our service is available Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm

  • Email us at familyinfo@gloucestershire.gov.uk  and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
  • Use this directory to look for lots of useful hints, tips and support, simply type in the keyword of a subject you are looking for into the search option at the top of this page or click on one of the pink headings to the left of this page to find the information you are looking for.
  • Call us on 01452 427362.  If we can’t answer straight away please leave a message and we will call you back.
  • Find us on Facebook –just search for Family Information Service – Gloucestershire and leave us a message.

Confidentiality….

Our contact with you is confidential unless you give us permission to share information with someone else.  However, in extreme circumstances such as if the health, safety or welfare of you or someone you tell us about is at significant risk we may need to share.  If we need to do this we would always try to speak with you first.

Do You Need More Help?

How can families access support?

In Gloucestershire, we believe that families are best supported by practitioners who are already working with them, as well as other organisations and services within their local community. These organisations include health services, schools, learning providers, councils, charities and voluntary groups, children and family centres, the police, housing providers and many others.

Families are encouraged to contact any professional who is already working with them to discuss support. Professional contact details can be found upon Glosfamilies Directory.

A request for Early help can be made by any practitioner who is supporting a family and by the family themselves. Practitioners will need to complete and submit the Early Help request for service and single consent form found HERE.

Further information about requesting Early Help and Early help practitioner contact details can be found HERE

Do you have a 0-4 year old ?

If you have a worry or concern, you can contact your local Children & Family Centres your GP, Community Midwife or Health Visitor (some contact details can be found on this site). 

Children & Family Centre staff are experienced in all aspects of child development, from fussy eating to routines and play. You can discuss your worries with a family worker and they will be able to advise you on a course of action suggest different options or just provide a listening ear.

In Gloucestershire, there are many providers of early learning and childcare for children, including out of school clubs and holiday play schemes for school age children. 

With good quality childcare your children will learn, develop and play alongside other children which will benefit them, and the whole family, for years to come.  Knowing that your children are well cared for gives you the opportunity to work, train and meet other parents or simply to have a break and some time for you.

Finding childcare that's best both for you and for your child will depend on many things, including your budget and your child's individual needs.  As a parent you will need peace of mind that your child is safe, happy and being well cared for. 

Further information about the different types of childcare available can be found via the Glosfamilies Directory.  If you are unsure which type of childcare provision you are looking for, you may wish to read our booklet "Guide to Childcare Options" which is available in the Downloads on the right of this page.

If you have already decided which form of childcare you are looking for, simply click on the relevant button and this will bring up a list of all of the childcare providers of that type.   If you wish to see all of the listed childcare providers nearest to your home address you can click "view all services" to see a list.  Entering your postcode into the search area will customise it to that location and will give you a list in distance order from that address and will also show the results on a map .

Early years funded free entitlements for 2, 3 & 4 year olds

Children aged 2, 3 and 4 may be entitled to funded early education and childcare. For 2 year olds, the eligibility is based on your child’s circumstances or family income. All 3 & 4 year olds are entitled to a universal entitlement of 570 hours during a year (maximum of 15 hours a week – if taken term time only). Eligible 3 & 4 year olds are also entitled to an extended entitlement of an additional 570 hours, (a maximum total of 30 hours a week - if taken term time only). Some childcare providers may offer the early education and childcare over more weeks so you can stretch the funded hours.

Find out more below:

Childcare Funding - Information on funding which may be available

30 hour Entitlement -Childcare Choices - Information for parents on tax free childcare and extended 30 hours entitlement.

Free Childcare for 2, 3 & 4 year olds - Information for parents on free childcare for 2,3 & 4 year olds.

Achieving 2 year olds - Information on Achieving 2 year old funding

Early Years funding for children with SEND - Information on funding available

Information for Practitioners - information for practitioners and childcare providers, including details on nursery funding

Do you have a 5-18 year old ?

If you are worried or concerned about your child, there are several organisations who may be able to offer advice and support.  A good starting place can sometimes be your child's school as they should be able to signpost you to organisations who can help. Some schools even employ support workers who may be experienced in many aspects of children's lives, such as bullying, health, behaviour, routines, play and more.  You do not necessarily have to speak to your child's teacher, but can always ask at reception to speak to any member of staff.  

Alternatively you could contact the school nurse or your GP if you felt that would be suitable.

What is Early Help and how can I request support

Early Help is about providing support to potentially vulnerable children, young people and their families as soon as problems begin to emerge, or when there is a strong likelihood that problems will start in the future. It is also about providing support at any and every stage of a child's life: pre-birth, during pregnancy, childhood or adolescence.

In Gloucestershire, we believe that families are best supported by practitioners who are already working with them, as well as other organisations and services within their local community. These organisations include health services, schools, learning providers, councils, charities and voluntary groups, children and family centers, the police, housing providers and many others.

Early Help’ is an umbrella term that describes the work of many agencies engaged with children and families and focuses on how we can help people to do things for themselves and build on strengths within families. If we can get this right early on, at the right time, we get the opportunity to help people with areas of their life they may be struggling with, which sets people up for a better long-term future. It is also about providing support at any and every stage of a child’s life: pre-birth, during pregnancy, childhood and/or early adulthood.

Early help is voluntary and with consent. Before support is undertaken, informed consent will need to be gained from the young person and family. Informed consent means the young person and family are able to fully understand the reasons for consent.

Children, young people and families with additional needs will be supported through the use of the Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support. Additional details can be found HERE.

 

What is a request for Early help?

A request for Early help can be made by any practitioner who is supporting a family and by the family themselves. Practitioners will need to complete and submit the Early Help request for service and single consent form found here.

Families can contact their locality Early Help team below .

Cheltenham

01452328160

cheltenhamearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Cotswolds

01452328101

cotswoldsearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Forest Of Dean

01452328048

forestofdeanearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Gloucester

01452328071

gloucesterearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Stroud

01452328130

stroudearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Tewkesbury

01452328250

tewkesburyearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk

 

 Who might contact me and how?

Early Help practitioners may contact families via the telephone, letter or email following an Early Help request for service and single consent from.

The Early Help practitioners include:

  • Early Help Co-ordinators who provide support for practitioners who are working with children and families to meet their needs through the Graduated Pathway

 

  • Community Social Workers work with organisations to provide a social work perspective on families they are supporting. This supports practitioners to ensure families receive the right level of support and act as a link between Children’s Social Care and the community.

 

  • Early Help Partnership Managers support partnership work between organisations in communities to support the development of resources available to children and families. They attend District Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to make sure there is a focus on Early Help for vulnerable families alongside wider community safety concerns.

 

  • Education and inclusion The Education and Inclusion Specialist Support Team (EISSS) provide a wide range advice, guidance and support including attendance, children missing education, support for pupils with SEND and elective home education. Further information can be found HERE

 

  • Advisory Teaching Service (ATS) The ATS work closed with schools and early years settings to identify pupils who are likely to experience difficulties due to their social and emotional needs.

      Further information can be found online by clicking HERE

  • Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

The Educational Psychology Service offer a comprehensive psychology service for children and young people (0 – 25). As educational psychologists, they use their knowledge of psychology, child development and social interaction to promote young people's development, learning and well being. The Educational Psychology Service work with families, educational settings, health and social care partners and other organisations.

      Further information can be found online by clicking HERE

  • Family group conferencing
  • A Family Group Conference (FGC) brings together family and friends to make decisions and plans for the care, protection and support of a child/young person in your family
  • The FGC is an opportunity for you and your wider family and close friends to talk about concerns within the family and decide how to deal with them in a way that makes sense to you.
  • How is the FGC arranged? An independent co-ordinator will visit you at home and explain how the Family Group Conference process is organised. If you decide to go ahead the co-ordinator will work with you to plan the meeting and decide who to invite.
  • The co-ordinator will then visit all the family and friends that you have identified and discuss the meeting with them.
  • The co-ordinator will then arrange an advocate for the child or young person. This is someone who will work with the child or young person before the Family Group Conference to help them put across their views and wishes. The advocate will come to the meeting to support them to express their views and make all the necessary preparations for the meeting.
  • To access a Family Group Conference a lead professional will need to complete a referral which will need to be sent to the FGC Team.

 Further information can be found online by clicking HERE

 

  • The Disabled Children and Young People Service

This service provides social care assessment and support planning for disabled children, young people and their families, and a range of support to meet assessed needs.  Support is intended to enable disabled children to have the same range of opportunities as non-disabled children, and with their families to be able to experience the 'ordinary' things of life that others take for granted.

We are committed to working in partnership with young people and their families in everything we do.  Our aim is to support disabled children and young people to be fully participating and included in their families and communities, developing the skills and experiences needed to live as independently as possible.

 Further information can be found online by clicking HERE

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