Early Help For Families

What is early help in Barnsley?

Early help is our approach to providing support to potentially vulnerable children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge, or where there is a strong likleyhood that problems will emerge in the future.

Early help may occur at any point in a child or young person's life, from childhood to adolescence and includes both interventions early in life as well as interventions early in the development of a problem.

It is about the way we can all work together, share information, and put the child and their family at the centre, providing effective support to help them solve problems and find solutions at an early stage, at the point that the needs first emerge so we avoid needs becoming so great that specialist statutory interventions are required.

Families are best supported by those who already work with them organising additional support with local partners as needed.

The Barnsley early help offer includes provision of universal and targeted services to reduce or prevent specific problems from escalating or becoming entrenched.

We all want children young people in Barnsley to be able to enjoy a happy, safe and healthy childhood and fulfil their potential.

Early Help through Family Centres

The Family Centre service and the Targeted Youth Support service are working closely to provide one gateway to services for all children and families aged pre-birth to 19 years (25 years if the young person has a disability) through Family Centres and locally based I Know I Can young person centres.

Through Family Centres and IKIC centres, children, young people and families are able to access early help and support at the earliest opportunity. Families have access to a full range services, either delivered on site, in other suitable community venues or in the home. Families who are resident within the borough can register and access services at any Family or IKIC Centres, so that families can access services at the centre which makes most sense to them and their circumstances.

Targeted Support

For those children , young people and families who face more challenges and may have multiple needs targeted services provides additional capacity and expertise to address their needs. Through Family Centres, children, young people and families can access a programme of targeted group provision and one to one support. The work of Family Centre Family Support Workers and Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) Workers in Targeted Youth Support Service will be accessed and coordinated through Family Centres in order to provided one simple gateway to support for children, young people and families.

Targeted one to one support through a Family Support Worker/EIP Worker is available to children, young people and families where it is deemed that it is appropriate for an Early Help Assessment (EHA) be undertaken due to the level of need and the number of potential agencies which may need to be involved to fully support the child and family. An EHA may have been instigated prior to requesting a service from Family Centres or may be initiated by the Family Support Workers/EIP Worker if appropriate.

By working together effectively we seek to reduce the number of children and young people requiring statutory interventions and reactive specialist services.

How to access Early Help through Family Centres

For children, young people and families who would benefit from targeted services the following pathway is for available children and young people aged pre-birth to 19 years (25 years if the young person has a disability). You should follow the three simple steps:


Complete Request for Targeted Support form which can be accessed in the right hand side panel under "Useful Downloads"


Email to Early Help Inbox - EarlyHelp@barnsley.gcsx.gov.uk or take it to your local family centre.


Request will be reviewed and allocated by the weekly Early Help Panel to:

  • Access targeted group provision e.g. parenting programme
  • Allocate Family Support Worker/EIP Worker 
4. Referrer will be informed of the outcome of their request.

Who to contact

Families Information Service on 0800 0345 340

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Last updated on 19/10/2016