Elmsleigh’s Early Help Offer
At Elmsleigh Infant School, we take great pride in ensuring that our children feel happy and safe at all times and have excellent relationships with all of our families.
We understand that all families may have times when they or their children are struggling, not only with their learning but in other ways too. It could be issues such as health, bereavement, family separation, financial or other issues. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect parent’ and it is okay to ask for help.
Every child is at the center of our school and our main aim is that by feeling happy and safe at all times, they will be able to thrive and achieve their full potential educationally. By supporting all of our families in order to recognise their needs, the children at Elmsleigh will be able to be healthy, safe and feel valued.
Elmsleigh’s ethos is underpinned through a safe learning environment. We have a high skill-set of experienced staff who are able to support and signpost families. Within our school family, we also have specialised staff with expertise in SEN, positive behaviour, emotional well-being, parenting and school attendance. This team consists of our Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, EYFS leader, SENDCO, pastoral lead and family liaison worker.
Families are able to approach us for help and are treated with the utmost respect without being judged.
The Elmsleigh team may have requests for support and have worries about children and families from different people. It could be from the child, parent/ carer, class teacher, or teaching assistant. Where there is a risk that a child may be of significant harm, there is a referral made with immediate effect to the Child Protection Service (Starting Point).
When a parent or carer asks for help, Elmsleigh will do everything that they can to help them. Sometimes, a parent or a child needs the extra help and has nothing to be ashamed of. The team at Elmsleigh will help families to recognise the positive aspects and what is going well for them, and pinpoint where families would benefit from extra help and how to make this happen. In order to do this, the Elmsleigh team will need to do an Early Help Assessment (EHA)
Early Help Assessment
This is a meeting which takes place between a parent and one of our Elmsleigh team. You will have a discussion about what is going well and what’s not going well for the family. The Elmsleigh team will let you know what sort of help is available. The discussion may result in an EHA taking place, so that we can get a full picture about the whole family. It is up to you as the parent whether you take part in the assessment.
The EHA will:
- Help you to see what is going well and not so well for your family
- Identify the kind of support that you might need
- Make a picture of your family’s circumstances, which can be shared with your permission (your personal information belongs to you – agencies can’t share your information unless you agree, because your information is protected by law under the Data Protection Act).
- Ensure that you are part of a team of people working together so that things are going well again.
Sometimes the support that families need are a reassuring chat with a professional who already works at Elmsleigh and knows the family well. Elmsleigh also provides the following support services:
- Incredible years course (12 week parent support programme)
- Henry healthy eating course
- Support from our SENDCO and teacher for autism for parents who are worried about children with SEN
- Nurture provision for children commissioned by their schools
- Positive play therapy for children with trained staff
- Signposting to other services such as holiday clubs
- Attendance panel meetings for families
- Support for families who are struggling financially with food.
After the EHA, teams from different agencies such as schools, nurseries, health visitors, etc. working with your family will share information and work together to support you and your children. There will be certain aspects of support which Elmsleigh cannot provide which include home support unless we are accompanied by another agency to safeguard us.
However, the Elmsleigh team will do their best in finding the best service available for home support. This may be followed by a ‘Team Around the Family’ (TAF) meeting.
‘Team Around the Family’ (TAF) meeting
You will have another meeting with other agencies to make a support plan. This will be looked at regularly to make sure that you and your family are getting the right support.
When families become more settled with the support that has been put in place, their confidence in managing tricky situations may develop and they may need less help from other agencies.
Eventually, support may decrease although services will be around for schools to access should families need them in the future.
Asking for help
We are all here to help you and your children and have an ‘open door’ policy. If you are struggling and need any support with family life, the pastoral team are available. Please pop into the school office or contact Elmsleigh on 01283 216883.