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.
There’s also a page about the Early Help and Prevention service for professionals.
What help is available?
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.
What's different about the help we offer?
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.
How long does help last for?
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.
What happens when a lead professional is allocated to a 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.
Specialist family workers
Early Help and Prevention have specialist family support workers across the city who work directly with families, provide information, advice and guidance, offer team around the worker input, strategy input and have key relationships with partners.
You can find out about more types of support using the links below:
- Behaviour management – parenting surgeries in the six family hubs
- Solent Child and Families service – children’s health service
- Emotional health and wellbeing – advice and support
- Healthy weight – advice and guidance on eating and living healthily
- Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board – information about safeguarding children and young people
- Family Information Service – 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
- Young carers – advice and support
- 4U Youth Group – help for young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant or who are questioning their gender identity or sexuality. To arrange time to speak with the team, email email@example.com with the appropriate contact details of the young person, parent or their support worker.
- Portsmouth Local Offer – help for parents and carers of disabled children and the professionals that work with them
- Let’s talk about it – sexual health advice
The following people can be contacted with any questions or concerns:
Head of integrated Early Help and Prevention
Tel: 07720 947345
Operational managers (0-5 years)
Lorraine Fenner (North & South)
Tel: 07770 703844
Karin Downer (Central)
Tel: 07825 754466
Early Help and Prevention locality managers
Gill Noble (Central & South)
Tel: 07951 497340