Medway Children's Services Early Help offer is called Family Solutions.
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There are organisations and services across Medway that can support you and your family to address worries.
We provide support as soon as it is needed to help you and your family thrive and resolve any challenges you may be facing before they become too difficult to manage.
Early Help can support you with difficulties you're having with:
- school, education or training
- home and life relationships
- health and emotional wellbeing
- work, finances or housing
- domestic abuse
- social isolation
- crime or anti-social behaviour.
You can receive Early Help in Medway from an identified lead practitioner or from Family Solutions. A lead practitioner could be someone you already know well and you have a good relationship with. Examples include:
- someone from your child's school
- a health practitioner
- someone from a partner agency.
You'll receive support from a worker who will:
- work with you to understand what works for you and your family
- learn what your worries are and the support you may need.
An assessment will lead to an intervention plan, or an intervention plan can be completed first by an Early Help worker.
Early Help Assessments allow you to note:
- what is going well with your family
- what you can do to improve.
You'll then agree how you and your family can reach your goals.
Your Early Help worker will:
- talk through what is going well to identify strengths in your family
- gather information from you, others in your family, friends and services
- look with you at the concerns or worries you and others may have
- complete an assessment putting information together in one place
- develop an intervention plan.
Intervention plans are used across Early Help partner agencies including Family Solutions.
Plans are designed to:
- be timely
- focus on the strengths in your family
- make sure you can access support and services to address any concerns.
They are not as complex as a full Early Help assessment.
For intervention plans, your lead practitioner will:
- develop a plan of different interventions, including support from other agencies
- review your plan to make sure any concerns are reduced, and life is improving for you and your children.
Early Help review meetings take place every 6 to 8 weeks. The main aims of the meeting are to:
- bring together children, young people, parents, and practitioners
- look at the plan in place and consider any changes that have happened since the plan started. There is a focus on the positives as well as areas where support is still needed
- make sure parents, carers, children, and young people have an equal role in agreeing goals and how to meet those goals
- make sure everyone involved in the plan is completing the intervention they agreed to do.
There may be instances where the person working with your family needs to share information, with or without your consent. For example:
- if someone is at risk of harm
- to help prevent or detect a serious crime.
There are times when families need some extra support. Family Solutions help to understand:
- how things are for your family
- what support you may need to improve your circumstances.
This voluntary process starts once you've signed a consent form giving permission to collect and share information with other professionals. This will be to get you the support you need.
By going through this process, you will not have to share what's happening with different services or ask for their help.
Someone from Family Solutions will work with your family and complete an Early Help assessment or intervention plan. This will be completed with:
- agencies working with your family
- agencies identified as being able to offer support.
All Early Help assessments or intervention plans are about your family. Their main aim is to improve family circumstances. An Early Help worker's intention is to involve you in every step of an assessment and every decision.