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Northumberland Case Study – 4 Day Early Help

Practitioners were funded from three separate teams, the Local Authority, Barnardo’s and Action for Children. The practitioners involved had a range of expertise including early years workers to YOT professionals, with the 3 teams requesting  to stream line their services, allowing all practitioners to be working towards a common Early Help package of care for the supported families in the borough.

The two groups managed 4 very busy days, working alongside each other to achieve local understanding of their processes, enabling the agencies to gather seamless agency assessment and planning protocol, understanding of support, have a common knowledge base and gather idea’s from each other about the way in which the services can move forward together.

A mixture of approaches were used throughout the 4 days to deliver the agreed learning outcomes, including direct teaching, guided discussion (full/part groups/pairs), role play, movement-voting to scenario’s, video clips, prioritisation exercises and practical tasks (assessment/planning) linked to case studies. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the Values and principles that underpin work with children and families
  • Consider the personal relationships within families, and why the impact on family functioning
  • Understand the nature of effective relationships with individuals and whole families
  • Consider professional boundaries
  • Ability to address barriers to involvement
  • Understand the concept of unconditional positive regard and non-judgemental practice
  • Understand worker resilience and self-management
  • Be able to build effective relationships
  • Be able to reflect on one’s own working practices


  • ‘I feel more confident following the training especially on understanding the voice of the child and involving co-parents’
  • ‘I thought it was particularly helpful that the trainers ‘do our job’’
  • ‘I feel very confident in moving forward with communicating with hard to engage families and feel the information provided on this training has enhanced that’
  • ‘Excellent knowledge shared by trainers, great to have real life experiences of working with families to share with us.’
  • ‘I have really enjoyed this course and have learnt a lot, thankyou, I can’t wait to use it in practice.’
  • ‘I feel confident in building relationships with families and this training has given me some great ideas to use’