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Effective leadership and capacity development quoted as two key themes to promote an effective early help offer.

The Local Government Association has issued its final report on the key enablers of and barriers to developing and sustaining an effective local early help offer.

Based on in-depth engagement with eight local areas selected on the basis of interesting or innovative practice in the area of early help, the research looked at how these local areas have constructed their early help offers; how these have evolved over time; the key enablers that have supported the creation of an effective offer; and the future challenges that local areas are addressing.

The report identifies the following key enablers all eight local authorities had in place:

  • A ‘key work’ support service for families typically delivered by a multi-disciplinary team with most targeted towards families exhibiting relatively higher levels and complexity of need.
  • All supported statutory partners, including schools and early years providers, health and the police, to act as lead professionals for families requiring early help.
  • All eight local authorities had an underpinning offer of universal or group-based support offered either by the community or through community-based local authority run hubs, such as children’s centres.

With the following four themes recurring consistently across all eight areas:

  • The earliness of early help
  • Working with families
  • Building resilience
  • Having an integrated joined-up offer

The research also indicated that an areas capacity to adapt their early help offers and evolve in response to feedback and information about their performance contributed to their effectiveness.

In total, the report identifies 16 enablers for success across the following four themes:

  • Setting the direction
  • Developing Capacity
  • Working with families
  • Evaluating impact and quality

 The full report can be found here