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Westminster Early Help - Happy, Healthier Families

Early Help

The Early Help service provides help and support to children, young people and their families from before birth up to the age of 19.

All families face challenges and sometimes need support. Early Help is about providing this support as soon as possible to tackle difficulties for children, young people and families before they become more serious. We work with the whole family and the child is at the centre of everything we do.

There are a number of different teams within the Early Help Service. They are:

  • Targeted Early Help - families are allocated a Family Practitioner who works closely with them on a regular basis
  • Intensive Support Team - families are allocated an Intensive Support Family Practitioner who can work very intensively with them if there are high support needs
  • School Inclusion Team - work with children who are at risk of exclusion from education
  • Parenting - work with Parents who need extra support and provide courses and training on Parenting
  • Youth Offending Team - work with young offenders

Universal Services

Some activities you can book on to in advance or just turn up. These are what we call ‘Universal’ services which are available to everyone. They include:

  • schools
  • GPs
  • family hub activities, like stay & play
  • youth activities
  • information and advice drop-ins
  • help finding childcare

You can find listings of these services by searching our online directory. To do this just enter a keyword on our home page and you will find contact details of a wide range of agencies who offer information, advice and support.

Early Help

We use the term 'Early Help' to refer to extra support your family may need beyond the usual services available to everyone. By finding out what is working well for you and what areas you may be worried about we can help to build on your strengths and identify areas where further support might be needed. We make sure families have access to this support at the earliest possible stage.

Many organisations across Westminster work together to make it as easy as possible for you to get the right support, at the right time. These include:

  • Children’s Services
  • Health Visiting
  • School Health
  • Housing
  • Maternity services
  • Parenting
  • Early Years

Targeted Early Help

If you have a range of needs, it is likely that you may need support from several different agencies. If this is the case you may be allocated a worker from our Targeted Early Help team who can work with you as a Lead Professional and help to co-ordinate the other support you need.

How to access our service

Our service is for families with children up to the age of 19 who are resident in the borough. You can access the service in several ways:

  • Via your local Family Hub - If you feel you need some extra support or would like more information about the Early Help service you can speak to a member of the family hub team who will help work out the best service to support you.
  • Via another professional - you can ask a professional you are already working with to make a referral, such as your: teacher, health visitor, youth worker, GP.
  • Alternatively you can refer yourself or a child by contacting our Access Team on 020 7641 4000 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or the Emergency Duty Team 020 7641 2388 (outside of these times).

What happens next?

We will need to talk to you and your family to find out what your needs are and what we can offer you and agree a way forward.

You may be referred to a community or voluntary agency, or might be offered support through our Family Hub or via our Targeted Early Help service. 

The Targeted Early Help leaflet in the downloads section to the right of this page has more information about how Targeted Early Help can support you and your family if you are referred to them.

Worried about a child?

If you are worried that someone is in immediate danger please call 999.

If you have concerns about the safety of a child you should get in contact straight away on the below numbers:

  • Access to Children's Services team 020 7641 4000 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or Emergency Duty Team 020 7641 2388 (outside of these times).

The Access team provides a single point of contact for professionals and members of the public who want to seek support or raise concerns about a child. We will listen, assess your concerns, and can take action if a child is at risk.

If you're not sure whether a child is at risk you can discuss the circumstances with us or with someone else who works with children, such as a teacher, health visitor or the NSPCC.

All professionals who work with children have a responsibility to safeguard them and will know how to help.

Professionals - making a referral

In Westminster professionals should use The Multi-agency Assessment and Referral Form (MARF) to make a referral to Early Help.  If you are using this form for the first time please register via this link  This is the form you need to complete if you are a professional and need to make a referral to Family Services (either social care that is not an emergency, or targeted early help). 

Tell us what you think

We're committed to providing high quality support to the families we work with and we're always happy to hear your feedback and suggestions.

Please complete our short survey to let us know your thoughts. 

Parenting support

As part of the Early Help service the Parenting team can offer one to one support to a limited number of families individually as part of a family plan or alongside a lead professional.

Referrals for one to one support are only accepted from professionals already working with a family such as Social care, Early Help or CAMHS. Places are limited and allocated if agreed following a consultation with the professional and parent.

Contact the parenting team at for more information.

The Parenting team also offer a wide range of groups and courses which parents can book onto directly without a referral. 

Family Hubs

We’re improving the support you and your family receive in Westminster. As part of this, we are creating three Family Hubs offering more support and advice that now includes families with children up to 19 years of age. 

The Family Hub means the professionals who support you working together – including health visitors, school nurses, outreach teams, Early Help workers, social workers and local organisations.

On the following link you can access contact information and timetables for the three main family hubs in Westminster:

Family Hubs | Westminster FIS

Last Updated 30/11/2023

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