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Draft Early Help and Partnership Strategy - have your say now

Planning for the ongoing delivery of help and support for children, young people and their families in Buckinghamshire over the next 3 years.


We want to make sure that children, young people and their families get the support they need at the earliest point, to deal with any emerging issues they may be facing.

This support is known as Early Help and is provided in a coordinated way by a range of organisations across Buckinghamshire. These organisations include the Council, health services, and voluntary and community sector organisations.

In Buckinghamshire, we already have an Early Help Partnership Strategy that expires in March 2022. As a partnership, we have reviewed how far we have achieved the ambitions set out in that strategy and are proposing 4 new priorities to take forward from April 2022 to 2025. We would like to hear your views on our plans.

What are the 4 priorities we are proposing?

Priority 1: Establish multi-agency strategic governance and strengthen joint ownership of the Early Help Strategy.

This includes:

  1. Establish an Early Help Strategic Partnership Board and operational sub-group with key stakeholders (including representatives of children and young people) to steer, support and challenge the partnership in order to achieve the aims of the strategy.
  2. Improve planning, coordination and oversight of all organisations and services contributing to the Early Help offer to ensure provision is comprehensive, cohesive and gaps are identified and responded to.
  3. Ensure data on the impact of the support provided is routinely collected, collated, analysed and shared so achievements across Early Help can be quantified and used to inform future developments.

Priority 2: Further develop the Early Help offer to include a targeted response to the increased risk of long-term disadvantage for children, young people and families due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes:

  1. Provide support for those children, young people and families who have increased vulnerabilities. This may include those who are:
    1. not in employment, education or training (NEET)
    2. are home educated, excluded, or are not receiving education
    3. are vulnerable to exploitation.
  2. Develop an offer for new parents/carers whose early parenthood experience has been altered by the pandemic, resulting in increased anxieties, greater isolation from peers and reduced access to help and support to address any developmental delays in their children.

Priority 3: Work together to provide effective Early Help

This includes

  1. Review need, demand and location of services to ensure families in all areas are able to access suitable provision and be effectively supported.
  2. Building on current good practice, identify additional opportunities for joint working to improve the experience of families, provide timely and appropriate services and reduce the need for unnecessary statutory or clinical intervention.
  3. Further develop our practice and maximise our capacity to work together as a partnership using the lead agency model to meet the needs of families in complex circumstances, who need the coordinated effort from all sectors working together towards the agreed outcomes for the family.
  4. Create a consistent and jointly owned Early Help training and support offer for front-line practitioners, for example, trauma-informed practice, responding to presenting needs.
  5. Review pathways in partnership with families to ensure they are clear and easy to navigate, improving the user experience and timely access to support.
  6. Seek engagement of Primary Care Networks in the health liaison meetings and wider early help engagement to further enable a holistic approach to supporting families.
  7. Identify additional opportunities to co-locate early help services and further develop Family Centres into community hubs, ensuring spaces are fit for purpose for all age groups.

Priority 4: Develop a common understanding of Early Help across the partnership and promote a cohesive Buckinghamshire offer

This includes:

  1. Increase the visibility of all aspects of the Early Help offer in Buckinghamshire to ensure all families and partners are aware of and able to access the right services to support them.
  2. Identify opportunities to share practice and collaborate across organisations and services to further embed a shared understanding of Early Help at all levels (tiers 1 to 3).
  3. Generate a sense of purpose and belonging as a provider delivering early help in Buckinghamshire, to maximise the availability and collective impact of a broad range of support, service and intervention.
  4. Recognise and engage new partners to add breadth and capacity to our partnership and expand our network, providing clear and well-understood pathways to appropriate support.

How to take part in the consultation

We have created an online survey for you to feedback your views and suggestions. The consultation will run from 1 November to 12 December 2021.

Complete the survey

If you need a printed version of this survey, please email [email protected]

Attend a virtual discussion group

You may also be interested in attending one of our virtual discussion groups to find out more information and share your views.

These are taking place as follows:

  • 9 November 2021 from 2 pm to 3 pm
  • 10 November 2021 from 11 am to 12 midday
  • 15 November 2021 from 7 pm to 8 pm

To book a place, email [email protected]