Early Help is what we call the support we give to children and families as soon as problems start. By giving that help quickly, we can stop little problems becoming big problems which are harder to fix.
Middlesbrough Council's Early Help service is called Stronger Families. We work with families to help them get the most out of family life, be healthier, achieve, be safe, and enjoy their lives together.
Some of the problems we help families with include:
- drug and alcohol issues
- domestic abuse
- mental health issues
- money and housing problems
- bereavement (someone dying)
- relationship problems
- children's health, development, behaviour, and progress at school
All families are entitled to Early Help support. You can ask us for support yourself, or you can ask someone else to put you in touch with us, like:
- a teacher at your child's school
- your health visitor
- your GP
- nursery staff
- any other services you might already be working with
To ask for Early Help support, you can call 01642 726004 or email MiddlesbroughMACH@middlesbrough.gov.uk.
What will happen when I ask for Early Help?
- We'll spend time with you and listen to what is working well, what worries you have and explore what help you think is needed. We do this by completing an early help assessment with you.
- As part of the assessment we'll talk to your child to make sure they understand how they are feeling and ask them if there is anything they want help with.
- We'll work with you to agree an action plan and set up a meeting, bringing services together who are working with you, as well as inviting new services who might also be able to help you.
- We'll ask you if we can share the details of your information with other services who can help you. You can read our privacy notice if you want to know more about how we look after your personal information and share it with people.
- We'll hold review meetings to check what progress is being made.
What are families saying about Early Help?
"My worker made me feel better about having help. She listened and talked to my children. She really wanted to know what they thought."
"In times of stress and upset my worker is contactable and offers me solutions in making the right decisions and helps me stay focussed."