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Effective early help and support is now available to children and families in Stoke-on-Trent

Published: Monday, 10th May 2021

Effective early help and support is now available to children and families in Stoke-on-Trent

A strategy that focuses on ensuring that effective early help and support is available to children and families in Stoke-on-Trent that was approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet in October, has been successfully implemented and used by partners six months on.

The ‘Early Help and Prevention Strategy’ aims to ensure that the needs of vulnerable children and families are identified and responded to swiftly before problems become entrenched or reach crisis point. The approach is based on strengthening communities, building resilience and establishing networks.  While it is acknowledged that services must be available to support families when needs emerge, the approach is very much communities first, services last.

The strategy aims to:

  • Improve access to advice, help and support
  • Develop a core local offer of early help and prevention support
  • Improve the quality and co-ordination of early help and prevention services
  • Empower families and communities 
  • Increase engagement from children and families
  • Support the delivery and commissioning of evidence-based programmes and   initiatives tailored to local need

The strategy introduced an exciting new delivery model for early help and prevention services, one that support families to ‘thrive’, drawing on support from the appropriate services in a timely way. 

Since its approval by Cabinet in October 2020, work has focused on strengthening the partnership at strategic and executive levels.  It has been shared widely with key strategic partners through Board members and also shared with parents, families in receipt of early help and support, and virtually with youth groups and schools colleagues. The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), a partnership of NHS and local government organisations who, alongside independent and voluntary sector groups, that are working together to transform local health and care services, endorsed the THRIVE model, acknowledging that it will allow teams to respond to emerging needs in a more timely and effective way.    

Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “The strategy set out our commitment to ensuring that children and young people in Stoke-on-Trent are able to fulfil their potential; socially, educationally, emotionally and financially.  We know that in order to do that, we must work in partnership with others in a responsive and flexible way in order to identify and meet emerging need.

Since October, work has been completed to ensure that the priorities within the Children and Young People’s Plan - Room to Grow, and the Early Help and Prevention Strategy are replicated in other relevant Local Authority and partnership strategies.  All partners have adopted the strategy and its priorities and have committed to adopting a strengths-based approach to supporting families, moving away from a hierarchical model of service delivery. There is now a more shared approach locally to prevention and early support with an emphasis on empowering communities.”

“We strongly believe that everybody in Stoke-on-Trent should be able to reach their full potential and live as independently as possible. This strategy so far has shown that it ensures that children and families in the city will now get the right help and support they need.”

The strategy forms part of the Children, Young People and Families Strategic Partnership’s ambitious plans to transform the way the city council delivers services to vulnerable children and families in Stoke-on-Trent and should be read within the context of the Children, Young People and Families Plan, ‘Room To Grow’. 

Stoke-on-City Council cabinet members will be updated on the strategy at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, May 18 at 1pm. The full agenda for the meeting can found here https://moderngov.stoke.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=564&MId=11142&Ver=4