Early Help and Prevention service


Help for young people and families in Portsmouth

The Early Help and Prevention service in Portsmouth is a new way of doing things – providing extra practical help with families early on, to stop problems getting worse. We talk with families about the things that are most important to them, what might help and what we can do differently to help them. This is how we start working together with the whole family to help get things back on track.

Help is available for families with children aged 0-19. 

You can access support from The Early Help and Prevention Service by sending an Inter-Agency Contact Form with or without an Early Help Assessment to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at pccraduty@portsmouthcc.gcsx.gov.uk for a decision around whether an Early Help response or Children and Families Services response is required.


MASH will forward the referral to the Early Help and Prevention team and they will inform the referrer of the outcome within 24 hours of receiving the information.


Request for additional help around single issues such as addiction problems, healthy weight, smoking cessation etc can be made directly to the Early Help and Prevention inbox: EarlySupportReferralPanel@Portsmouthcc.gcsx.gov.uk.

It will vary from family to family and will depend on the sort of help needed. For example, some families may need help with getting children back to school and attending regularly or they may need help with finding work. Others may have family members involved in crime or with addiction problems. Some may have all of these issues and more.


We will complete an Early Help Assessment or work with the plan already in place on the issues identified with the family. We will continue for up to six months to bring about the changes needed with the whole family.

The Early Help and Prevention service is about working with the whole family, not just the children or a single family member. 


Each family will have a main point of contact called a Lead Professional that they can get to know. This person will help the family find solutions to difficulties and can be contacted to talk about things or provide practical help.


We also work with the family to put an Early Help plan together to address the problems identified and to guide the help needed towards good outcomes.

We would expect to be working with the family for anything from a few weeks to six months but this would be reviewed regularly with the Lead Professional working alongside the family.

The worker will talk with the family about the family needs and together a plan will be developed depending on priorities identified. The worker and the family will sign this plan and regularly look at it to make sure the right help and support is being provided.

In order to help and support families as effectively as possible, Portsmouth City Council and partner organisations share relevant personal information with each other. Personal information of individuals is also shared for research purposes and to evaluate the help provided.

This can be explained to families in more detail by the worker when they meet.

There are Parenting Surgeries in each of the six Family Hubs which are available for families where the behaviour issue is for children over five years old. Appointments can be made by calling your local Family Hub (please see Family Hubs section for contact details). 


There are also a range of discussion groups available which target a specific problem or behaviour issue.


There are four topics for parents of children aged 5 - 12:

  • Dealing with Disobedience
  • Managing Fighting and Aggression
  • Developing Good Bedtime Routines
  • Hassle-Free Shopping

and four topics available for parents of children aged 13 - 16

  • Coping with Teenagers' Emotions
  • Reducing Family Conflict
  • Getting Teenagers to Cooperate
  • Survival Skills

These can be booked by calling your local Family Hub.


Please see the 'Behaviour Management Guide for Professionals' under the documents section at the bottom of this page.

The 4U Youth Group exists in the city to support young people between the ages of 11 and 19-years-old who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant or who are questioning their gender identity / sexuality.


We have an experienced, skilled youth team who offer a weekly youth group every Tuesday 6pm-9pm. We meet in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Each week we run activities which are designed to help to improve self-esteem, give young people a social outlet in which to make new friends and to provide information to support them as they grow.


To access 4U, the young person will first need to have a conversation with our Specialist Support Worker, to find out if this is the right group. To arrange time to speak with the team, email 4U.project@portsmouthcc.gov.uk with the appropriate contact details of the young person, parent or their support worker.

These used to be called Children's Centres but we have expanded them to include help for children and young people up to 19 years so we now call them Family hubs. This is where the Early Help and Prevention team provide some of their help to families but it is also where our behaviour management surgeries and groups are delivered.


We also have groups provided by trained volunteers in the Family hubs such as ‘Stay and Play’ and 'Budget Buddies'.


For a programme of activities or for more information about what you might find at your Local Family Hub, please see the document section at the bottom of this page.


Contact the local Family Hub below for details:


Buckland Family Hub

Turner Road, Buckland, PO1 4PN

T: 023 9273 3440

E: Bucklandcc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Landport Family Hub

221 Arundel Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1NF

T: 023 9281 5005

E: Landportcc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Somerstown Family Hub

Omega Street, Southsea, PO5 4LP

T: 023 9282 1816

E: Somerstowncc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Milton Park Family Hub

Perth Road, Southsea, PO4 8EU

T: 023 9282 7392

E: Miltoncc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Northern Parade Family Hub

Doyle Avenue, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9NE

T: 023 9266 0866

E: Northernparadecc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Paulsgrove Family Hub

Cheltenham Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, PO6 3PL

T: 023 9238 5995

E: Paulsgrovecc@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Head of Integrated Early Help and Prevention

Kate Slater

E: Kate.Slater@Solent.nhs.uk

T: 07720947345




Better Care Locality Managers (0 - 5 years)

Neil Smith

E: Neil.Smith@Solent.nhs.uk

T: 07826891260

Melanie Ellard

E: Melanie.Ellard@Solent.nhs.uk

T: 07825316770

Lorraine Fenner

E: Lorraine.Fenner@Solent.nhs.uk

T: 07770703844

Early Help and Prevention Locality Managers (5 - 19 years)

Ed Brennan

E: Edwina.Brennan@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk

T: 07785246419

Gill Noble

E: Gill.Noble@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk

T: 07951497340

Anthony Harper

E: Anthony.Harper@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk

T: 07930505998

Think Family Mentors (TFMs) work within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash) Early Help Team to assist when cases are assessed as meeting a Tier 2 threshold. The TFMs will assist in identifying support needs with the family and act as a critical friend to guide the professional network in undertaking a plan of support including Early Help Assessments (EHA), meetings and effective family plans. TFMs support Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board training in Early Help procedures and advise professionals in the City about procedures, local support services and facilities that may be available for a family. TFMs are mainly Locality based and can be reached on the numbers below:


North Locality - Fran Shaul

M: 07392 280788

T: 023 9268 8746

E: fran.shaul@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Central Locality - Sonja Barrand

M: 07961 333529

T: 023 9284 1574

E: sonja.barrand@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


South Locality - Jo Thompson

M: 07392 280787

T: 023 9283 4364

E: jo.thompson@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

The Family Information Service offers free information, advice and guidance on all aspects of family life to parents, carers and those working with Portsmouth families who have children 0-19 years, including:

  • Choosing childcare and early education
  • Money and benefits
  • School admissions and education
  • Training, volunteering and returning to work
  • Rights for working parents
  • Leisure opportunities
  • Advice for new families
  • Working in childcare


For more information or to book a Family Information Service Appointment at your local Family Hub, please contact Mohammed Islam, Family Information Officer:

T: 023 9268 8830

E: FIS@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Visit the Family Information Service webpage for more information. 

View the Portsmouth Local Offer website, a collaboration between parents and carers of disabled children, young people and Portsmouth City Council to help you find what is available in the area for those with Special Education Needs or Disabilities (ages 0-25) and how to access a variety of services. 

Visit the Solent Child and Families Service website for information on Children's Health Services in Portsmouth including Health Visiting, School Nursing and Therapy Services. 

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