At Langley Mill Academy we understand from time to time family life can have complications and in times of challenge families may benefit from additional support. This is why we have an Early Help Offer.
What is Early Help?
Early help or Early intervention is support offered to a family or child when a problem or challenge first emerges. This can be offered at any stage or a child’s life. Early help can be accessed by parents/carers and children with the key aims to improve the family’s resilience and outcomes or reduce the chances of a problem getting worse. Help can come from all kinds of services and organisations, multiple services may also work together to form a coordinated support plan. Some families and children may already be accessing some Early Help Services already.
Why might I seek Early Help?
You may wish to seek Early help if you are worried or concerned about your child’s development, behaviour, physical health, emotional health or wellbeing. Perhaps you care for a child who has an additional need or a disability. It could be that a loved one is unwell or has been diagnosed with a long-term illness. You may have had a family bereavement. Or it could be that your child has been affected by domestic abuse, drugs or alcohol. Other challenges could be that you are experiencing financial difficultly, poor mental health or are living in poor housing conditions. Or there may have been a disruption to your family life and you are worried about the affect of this on your child.
How can I access? Who do I ask?
As a school we may be able to signpost you to arrange of services beyond the educational setting in which you can seek help for yourself. We are also able to make referrals to targeted services when a need for a service is identified. As a school we aim to identify when support maybe needed early to ensure that the appropriate plans are put into place. For us to do this we require parents/carers to work with us and other professionals if necessary. When an emerging need has been identified parents/carers could be offered to engage in an Early Help Assessment (EHA). Sarah Robb who is our Family Support Worker has a wealth of local experience working with families and children. Sarah can carry out Early help assessments and is available every day in school. Additionally, Jackie Naylor is our Assistant head/Pastoral Lead also has a huge depth of experience she is also contactable Monday-Friday in school.
A helping hand for the whole family
What is an EHA and how does it work?
An EHA is an assessment and planning tool which identifies and coordinates a multi-agency support plan. The tool is also used to record what support has already been accessed and to navigate what needs to happen next.
At the beginning of starting an EHA you must consent that you agree to your information being shared with other professionals and that the person undertaking the assessment can contact other professionals should they need to. The EHA process is quite straightforward it typically consists of an invite into school to discuss your concerns and to gather information from you about your child and your family. We would also ask to visit it you at home to complete a safety check of your property looking at things such as; working fire alarms, clear fire exits and safe storage of chemicals/substances.
We use a think family approach and work from the family’s strengths when completing EHA. Therefore, as part of that we would also speak to your child to collect their wishes and feelings. Also, if you have other children which attend other educational settings we would request this information from the setting the they attend.
When an EHA is completed, we will have identified what support would be best suited to support your family. The identified support will be generated into a plan, the plan will contain SMART targets, these targets could be for the family, school or external agencies or organisations. The identified targets are typically be reviewed in a Team around the Family meeting (TAF) every 6 weeks.
Alongside this we also offer to families in need:
Subsidised breakfast club
Free school uniform
Subsidised tuck shop
Workshops with parents
One to one work with parents
Additionally, through our curriculum we respond to local incidents independently to ensure the safety of our children. As well as invite professionals into to school to deliver early help workshops across the relevant year groups which may cover topics such as online safety, knife crime and gangs, empathy and immigration, water safety, coping with changes, sleep programme, drug and alcohol awareness, speak out to stay safe etc.
Parents can access self-help support from a variety of services across Amber Valley: