Monitoring Vulnerable Children – Early Help – COVID 19

In response to enquiries made by schools, Early Help has provided the following responses to the work that they are carrying out during COVID-19

Key Priorities

  • The main priority is to respond to the changing needs of families during this period
  • Allocated cases, including FFT and Adolescent risk,  continue to be contacted by their EH worker/ practitioner who offer virtual sessions /  contact via Whats app/zoom. Risk assessments undertaken on each case to determine frequency of contact. Team Around the Family meetings can be held via Zoom if required. New referrals via MASH continue to be allocated to EH practitioners 

Key Actions

  • Ensuring that families have the right support and access to information around home schooling/learning, parenting including one to one support, routines, benefits advice, food banks, domestic abuse. We have created a helpful booklet for families that contains all the information in one place- this is accessible online on Early Help page LBWF and also the Hub and hard copies can be supplied if needed.
  • Young carers support- Virtual groups are on offer for Senior Young carers, All cases of shielded parents are being screened and offered support on a one to one basis, including delivery of food parcels if needed. A junior young carers chat space is being created currently this will be via parental email. YC referrals via MASH continue to be received and allocated.

Links to work carried out by schools during COVID-19

  • Early Help continue to work with the multi-agency network around families this includes liaison with other professionals, services working with the family.
  • Early help are actively encouraging parents of vulnerable children to take up school places where this is seen to be in the best interests of the child or YP.
  • Early help is working closely with Citizen advice and other partners such as DWP to prioritise those families in need e.g swifter processing of Universal credit claims

EH booklet is a rich source of information and support that can be promoted to families. Use of technology has enabled us to maintain support to families and be a listening ear when required particularly around parenting and behavioural support.

If schools are concerned and think the family need Early Help support then they need to make a referral to MASH as per normal procedures. All schools regardless of buy in can now access Early Help services.’ All schools have a named Early Help Co-ordinator who is available to offer advice and guidance – please contact EarlyHelp@walthamforest.gov.uk if you would like to get in-touch with your EHC.