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Early help support for parents and families

A family sitting in the park with their dog

Early help, also known as early intervention, is about providing the right support to children and families, at the right time, to meet a family’s needs and achieve positive change that lasts.

Early help can be provided at any stage of a child or young person’s life, from birth through to the teenage years or up to 25 years old for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Early help services can be delivered to children, parents or the whole family, with the main focus being to improve outcomes for children as soon as problems start to emerge or to help prevent situations from escalating or further problems arising.

If you are experiencing any difficulties within your family, you can contact your GP, Health Visitor, nursery, school or college for information, advice and support.  You may also want to take a look at the additional support available within Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Council support

Children’s centres

Herefordshire Council’s countywide children's centres offer a range of early help services for under five's, their families and carers to further support a family’s needs, right up until a child starts school.

Children's Help and Advice Team

Herefordshire Council’s Children's Help and Advice Team will listen to the worries of a family, offer advice and guidance and look at how they can support to access the right help to meet the needs of the family. The CHAT team can be contacted on 01432 260261 (available Monday to Friday, 9am - 4.45pm).

Parenting courses

The council also run a range of different parenting courses for parents, guardians and carers who'd like a little extra support, information or advice, when it comes to bringing up children and young people.  The courses cover all age ranges from birth to 18 years old.

Supporting Families Programme

The council’s Supporting Families Programme aims to make life better for some of the most vulnerable families in Herefordshire with complex or pressing needs.  There is an eligibility criteria in place to access the programme.

Local support

Home-Start Herefordshire volunteers visit local families in their own homes, once a week for two to three hours, to provide a little extra support, whether that’s a listening ear or offering practical help and signposting.

The Children's Society run the Climb Project in Herefordshire, which provides one to one support for 10 to 17 year olds, to help divert them away from criminal exploitation and learn how to recognise people and situations, that might put them at risk.

Vennture offer trained Family Pastors, who work alongside families in their homes, for an hour a week, to listen, encourage and support change.  They provide consistency in a family’s life, as they support them over a duration of six to nine months.

National support

Family Lives provide advice on all aspects of parenting and family life, from pregnancy and birth to early years development, going to school and challenging behaviour.

Relate offer a range of different services to help families when they’re experiencing problems, including counselling for relationships, families, children and young people, either face to face or via phone, e-mail and online chat.

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