Waste service strike

The waste service strike is now over and we have restarted service from 27 September 2023.

Over the next few weeks, our waste service team and private waste contractors will catch up on missed collections and street cleaning as quickly as possible.

We thank everyone for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience

Find out more

About Early Help


BannerAbout Early Help

  1. What is Early Help?

  2. Purpose of Early Help

  3. What help do we provide? Right help at the right time

  4. Services we provide

  5. Children and Family Centres

  6. When concerned about a child

What is Early Help?

Early Help is our approach to providing support to children, young people and their families when problems have emerged but do not yet meet the threshold for statutory intervention. When families need some extra support, Early Help is often the first response offered by those services in contact with them.

Early Help is primarily delivered through our 12 Children and Family Centres located throughout the borough. The services in the centres will support families of children and young people from 0-19 years old (up to 25 for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). Our aim is to support families at the earliest point when challenges first arise and to stop them from escalating.

Although research shows that the most impact can be made during a child’s early years, Early Help is not just for very young children. Problems may emerge at any point throughout childhood and adolescence, therefore children, young people and families are entitled to access Early Help if and when they need it at every stage of a child’s development.

Purpose of Early Help

The purpose of Early Help is, through prompt and targeted support to prevent challenges and problems becoming more serious to the child, young person, the family, and the wider community. The aim of Early Help is to build on people’s abilities and resources to manage their own challenges, resolve their own difficulties and to reduce the likelihood of the problem happening again.

Early Help may be provided through universal services, or other local authority services provided or commissioned; this includes family support provided by Children and Family Centres 0-19 team, schools, youth services and voluntary sector services. In most cases, families are best supported by those who already work with them. 

What help do we provide? Right help at the right time

With our partners we offer a range of services within Early Help & Children and Family Services depending on the level of support needed. We provide direct support to families and work alongside our partners to ensure that families receive regular and joined up involvement. Our partnerships include organisations who offer:

  • housing
  • parenting programmes
  • employment services
  • mental health services
  • and education which includes all local schools.

By working together and connecting with partners, we ensure that families get the right help, at the right time, from the right people.

As children’s needs are met and concerns are reduced, the level of engagement will reduce until this quality engagement is no longer required.

Services we provide

Most children and young people’s needs are met by their family or universal services that is. These provisions including schools, GP’s and Stay & Play sessions are provided to all children, young people and their families.

For those who face more challenges and have multiple needs, including where there is parental conflict, poor school attendance and parental mental health difficulties, targeted services provide expertise to work alongside families to address these needs.

For children and young people whose needs and circumstances are multiple, a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach is usually best, based on an Early Help Assessment (EHA)  Early Help Assessment (eEHA) (towerhamlets.gov.uk) with a Lead Practitioner to ensure that all family members receive the support they require in a coordinated way. A range of targeted services are available through the Early Help & Children and Family Service and it partners at a local Children and Family Centre.

When a child’s needs cannot be met in universal, targeted or specialist services in Early Help, practitioners can make a request directly to statutory services. This includes circumstances where it is believed that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

Children and Family Centres

Children and Family Centres provide support and advice to families to enable them to access play opportunities, preparing children for school readiness and ensure early identification is taking place at the earliest opportunity.

Children and Family centre sessions aim to:

Organisations and agencies that can provide Early Help:

For other services visit the Local Offer directory for an organisation that can help you.

When concerned about a child

For more information about Early Help, please call the Early Help Hub on 020 7364 5006 (select option 2). The Early Help Hub is the front door to most Early Help Services.

If you are concerned that a child is at risk of or is experiencing significant harm, you must contact the Multi- Agency Safeguarding Hub Team on 020 7364 5006 (Option 3) and MASH out of hours 020 7364 4079.