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Early help for children, young people and families

Early help is about children, young people and families getting the right help at the right time, before issues get worse.

All children receive Universal Services however some children will need extra support in order to be healthy, safe and to achieve their potential.

We want all our children and young people, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), to achieve the best possible outcomes and receive the support they need when they need it most. We have built on the SEND pathway and the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to develop one integrated, holistic Graduated Pathway of Early Help and Support. This pathway will enable practitioners to work with children, young people and their families ensuring they receive the right support when they need it most.

The purpose of early help is to prevent issues and problems becoming serious and harmful to the child, young person, family and community. When children and families need this extra support, they need it quickly. Provision of early help support can be at all stages of a child's life; pre-birth, during pregnancy, childhood or adolescence.


In Gloucestershire, we believe that families are best supported by those who are already working with them, with additional support from local partners arranged as needed. Children and families are entitled to early help if and when they need it. It may also be provided through an increase in the levels of universal services, or services provided or commissioned in localities.

When children and families need additional support, a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach led by a Lead Practitioner is usually best.

When families -and professionals who are helping them - need more support, this can be requested from Families First teams in each District. These are made up of representatives of services who decide the help that's needed and offer advice, guidance and support to Practitioners.

To access support, a Request for Support form needs to be completed along with a Consent form from the family and sent to your locality Families First inbox. These forms can be found here

In Gloucestershire, with partners, we have built on the positives of the Common Assessment Framework and SEND Graduated Pathway to develop one, holistic pathway of early help and support that meets the needs of all children and their families with additional needs.

The Graduated Pathway of Early Help and supporting tools can be found here



Locality Email Telephone
Cheltenham cheltenhamearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328160
Cotswolds cotswoldsearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328101
Forest of Dean forestofdeanearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328048
Gloucester gloucesterearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328076
Stroud stroudearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328130
Tewkesbury tewkesburyearlyhelp@gloucestershire.gov.uk 01452 328250



Information, advice and support for parents, children, carers, practitioners and partners is available from:

When a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, please contact the Children and Families Front Door.


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