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Early Help/Targeted Support

Early Help/Targeted Support Team

Abi Kefford                Deputy SENDCo              
Sarah Nicolson         Headteacher                     

Early Help Assessments (EHA)

The Early Help process differs between counties.  In order to understand which county’s process we need to follow depends on the county in which your doctor’s surgery is located.

The Early Help journey for families in Peterborough starts with an Early Help assessment. It is important that this is an impartial and honest assessment of strengths, opportunities and challenges that is undertaken with the family, and only ever with their permission. It should be completed when more than one unmet need would benefit from a multi-agency support approach.

The Early Help Assessment is normally initiated by a trusted professional with whom the family already have a relationship and with whom they are happy to share their concerns and worries. All professionals supporting families will have been provided with the opportunity to engage in training to ensure they are skilled and knowledgeable to work with the family.

Early Help assessments (EHAs) are used as a gateway to access several other forms of support. An Early Help assessment needs to be completed by a professional looking to access a neurodevelopmental assessment in both Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and the Early Support Pathway in both local authorities. In Peterborough, an EHA is also needed to access a place on a commissioned evidence-based parenting programme, a Behaviour Panel referral, a Family Worker and specialist sleep support.

Peterborough has three locality-based Multi-Agency Support Group (MASG) Early Help panels. The MASG panels are multi-agency groups of professionals that use their skills, knowledge and expertise to consider multi-agency interventions that will best meet the assessed needs of a child/family. Cases to be considered are usually where:

  • The needs are either unclear or such that additional resources are needed;
  • The family have been supported in the Community through an Early Help Assessment and Team around the Family (TAF) meetings but little progress has been made;
  • There have been difficulties in developing an effective multi-agency support plan;
  • A transition package of support may be required for a family who have recently been open to Children’s Social Care who need a range of co-ordinated targeted support to maintain and sustain progress;
  • Practitioners have identified the need for more specific, targeted and sometimes, funded pieces of work to more appropriately address the needs of a family.

The Early Help/Targeted Support Process at John Clare:

  • Parent and teacher discussions over concerns.
  • Class teacher discusses with Mrs Kefford (SEND concerns) or Mrs Nicolson (non SEND/Safeguarding concerns).

Depending on the number of cases in operation within school, there may be a waiting time for the process to begin.  All our leads have other important roles to also maintain within school.

  • Lead professional established.
  • Early Help Assessment forms emailed out to parents.

The more detail provided in these forms regarding the concerns and the desired outcomes, the quicker the forms are cleared through the Peterborough Gateway.

Neurological Pathway

Should you believe your child may be showing signs of ASD or ADHD, we will begin down the Early Help Neurological Pathway.  This is a long process and whilst we endeavor to do everything in a timely manner, we are often at the mercy of the medical professionals.  School will continue to support the needs of your child to the best of our abilities throughout the process.

Whilst we try to support your concerns, there are occasions where children do not show the same behaviours within school.  Please know that whilst we understand your frustrations, we are obligated to report on the behaviours we have been witness to.

Process (Neurological Pathway):

  • You will need to complete an evidence based parenting programme.  This can be done in person or remotely.

Whilst we understand this can be time consuming, the quicker you complete it, the sooner we can begin the next stage in this process.

  • Following the completion of the programme, there is a settling period of 6 weeks.
  • Completion of the Neurological Team (You United) referral form.

Once again, the greater the detail, the more evidence there is to back up your case.  Take some time to consider the things that you may regard as usual behaviour for your child, but that may be areas that highlight your concerns.  It is also helpful to state examples of incidents or activities that emphasise your worries.

  • On completion by school and parents, the form will be sent in.  There will then be a waiting time.
  • The form will be triaged by a team from the neurodevelopmental service.  Should the team decide there is not enough evidence within the form, the assessment will be denied.
  • At this point, should you wish to continue with the process, you may lodge an appeal.
  • Should your referral be successful, through the triage process, a face to face appointment will be made.  Again, there will be a waiting list.
  • Following this assessment your child may or may not receive a formal diagnosis.

Should you have any questions about the Early Help/Targeted Support process, please do not hesitate to speak to our team or your child’s class teacher.