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Advice, Support and Early Help Services

Being a parent isn’t always easy which is why the glosfamiliesdirectory is here to help.  There are a wide range of organisations available both across Gloucestershire and nationally, who provide advice and support to families and/or those professionals working with them.

Searching by keyword will enable you to narrow your search results based on your individual need, or you can
View all Services.  Additional information is also provided at the top of the search results page or click on the View All Services button to find the alternative support agencies and services, which you may find useful.

If you or someone you know has a child or young person with special educational needs or disabilities, please also refer to the Local Offer section where you will find taylored information, advice and guidance.

Requesting Early Help

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 Early Help via Gloucestershire Children's Helpdesk

Telephone 01452 426565


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

Early Help overview of services

Overview of Early Help Services

Early Help Overview of ServicesSupporting families enabling them to achieve and sustain significant change through a whole family working approach. Families First Family Support Teams. Based within 7 district teams (including 2 for Gloucester City) - delivering the Family Intervention Model, with elements of systemic practice, restorative practice and trauma informed practice and the Graduated Pathway My Plan/+, to stabilise and support families at the earliest opportunity. Children and Family Centres.16 Centres delivering family support service for children pre-birth to 11 yrs. and their families. Early Help Co-ordinators. Providing support, advice and guidance to schools and partners to develop and deliver robust Early Help plans and a comprehensive knowledge of available services and community resources. Family Group Conference. A county-wide Family Group Conference team taking referrals across the early help and safeguarding spectrum offering Family Group Conferences, Family Network Meetings, Safety and Support Planning meetings, Restorative meetings and Emergency Network Meetings. Direct Programme delivery. Triple P Parenting. Trauma recovery. Boys/girls groups. Digital interventions to reduce parental conflict. Partnership Managers. Engaging key partners and brokering effective locality partnerships to help inform early help and safeguarding responses in response to local needs. Family Information Service. Information and advice for families on a range of subjects (childcare availability and funding, finances, family support, activities, parenting and education including support for children and young people with SEND) – management of the GlosFamilies Directory and Local Offer for children with disabilities. Early Help Triage. Oversight of requests for early help interventions from professionals; MASH and parents/carers, information gathering and make initial decision making in regards to the service offer. Family Group Conference. A county-wide Family Group Conference team taking referrals across the early help and safeguarding spectrum offering Family Group Conferences, Family Network Meetings, Safety and Support Planning meetings, Restorative meetings and Emergency Network Meetings. Community Social Workers. Social work qualified practitioners, providing advice and training (e.g. MARF, Neglect toolkit) to community partners (Designated Safeguarding Leads for example) to respond to emerging risk, manage and de-escalate risk and better respond to complex and challenging cases.

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