Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 11th February 2016
Title of Item/Report
Early Help Update on Progress and Next Steps
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on the progress of implementation of the Early Help and Prevention Strategy. It included details of progress and achievements to date, an assessment of outcomes and impact, and proposed a series of priorities for 2016/17, to form the basis of a revised action plan.

Early help was used to take action as soon as possible to tackle problems that had already emerged in working with children, young people and families. Although an early intervention approach could be used at any time of life, it was usually adopted by services from conception to early adulthood, and was usually referred to as ‘early help' in this context.

A variety of national research in recent years had established the basis for early help in delivering better outcomes for children, young people and families. There were also significant costs associated with ‘late intervention', and the national estimates were detailed within the report.

The strategy was linked to a range of existing activity around the theme of early help, and was designed to embed an approach which was long term and transformative, both to ensure that children, young people and families had better outcomes, and also to address the challenges and costs of late intervention, including the Council. It was developed in part from previous Ofsted inspection in 2013 which identified that whilst children were supported effectively by a range of Early Help services in Stockton, there was a need to develop a co-ordinated Early Help offer overall.

The report highlighted the current position and evidence of progress.

The range of future actions set out within the report had been identified as the basis for the further evolution of early help in 2016. Elements of this approach were discussed in detail at the LSCB Board session on 18 December, and would be further refined through a refocused Early Help Partnership Group, reporting into the Children and Young People's Partnership and the Health and Wellbeing Board. A detailed implementation plan for the Early Help and Prevention Strategy would be developed for 2016/17. The future priorities and proposals were based around the priorities in the strategy.

The further implementation of early help provided the opportunity to consider the future of the troubled families programme and to ensure it was more clearly aligned to reducing the need for social care involvement. The key aspects of a proposed approach were detailed within the report.


1. The progress on implementation of the strategy be noted.

2. The proposed future actions be endorsed.

3. Further reports on actions and progress be received.
Reasons for the Decision
The development of an effective approach to early help forms a key element in the Council's approach to promoting the wellbeing and safeguarding of children. The development of a refreshed approach and action plan will play a key role in ensuring children, young people and families get the help they need at the right time, and to reduce pressures on social care.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 19 February 2016.

Date of Publication: 15 February 2016

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