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Dudley Early Help

The Early Help Strategy has been refreshed for Dudley. It is the commitment of our joint partnership to ensure we work in the most effective and co-ordinated way as early as possible when children and families need our support. This will enable us to prevent our children requiring level 4 intervention and supporting families to resolve any issues before they escalate or multiply.

The Early Help Strategy describes how there will be an even stronger emphasis on building family resilience and enabling a more “self-serve” approach which families had told us that they want. We want the children and families we work with to be able to find the services and help they need themselves, without having to request support from another professional.

It also describes how it will have an early years focus. Through the Early Years Transformation Academy and our approach to children’s first 1001 days.

It also emphasises the importance of education in Dudley and for the next 3 years we will also have a clear focus on school readiness for young children starting school, ensuring they get the best start.

We are really excited to launch this strategy and look forward to making a difference and delivering the best possible outcomes for our children and families lives in Dudley.

‘Working together to help Children, Young People and their Families thrive’ 

To make the vision a reality we will ensure we all provide:  

  • The right approach, in the right place, at the right time
  • So that children, young people and families thrive.

We Will Make Every Contact Count 

The first conversation is often really important and we understand the importance of handling this well. Whoever is chosen to be the person the child, young person or carer talks to, is the one who has the responsibility to make sure the response is a helpful one. 

We Will Listen To You And Not Judge You

We will show you we are listening and not judging you. We will care about the issues you share and will do our best to help. 

We Will ‘Work With You’ – And Not ‘Do To You’ 

We will not tell you what to do. We understand you know yourself and your family best. We will enable you to help yourself and won’t make you feel ‘done to’. 

We Will Give You One Point Of Contact 

We will work with you to identify a lead professional. That may be the person who first understands you need help, or it may be someone better placed to help you, but there will be one point of contact. This person will be your first point of contact who will help make sure the right support is in place. 

Our Assessments Will Be Uncomplicated And Robust 

We will make sure we understand your situation and will write it down. We will share it with you to make sure you agree. We will talk to family members and sometimes other professionals with your agreement to make sure we have understood your situation. 

We Will Take Care Of Your Information 

We will look after your personal information and make sure you give us consent before we share it. We will only share it without your agreement if we feel a child or young person is at risk and the law says we must share it for safeguarding reasons. 

We Won’t ‘Pass The Buck’ 

We will help you at the point of enquiry and won’t pass you to someone else until we know they will help you. We will do our best to draw in the support needed rather than just refer you on, not knowing whether help will follow. 

A key part of the Early Help operating model highlights cluster based working as the preferred method of delivery for Early Help Services across the Borough.

Five clusters will form the basis of delivery and operate from a newly formed 0-18 years (up to 25 years if the young person has a learning difficulty or disability) Family Centre in each of the Cluster areas; Brierley Hill, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley North and Dudley Central. 

The Early Help Assessment forms a key part of the Early Help Strategy and is a simple way to help identify the needs of children, young people and their families and make a plan to meet those needs. It is designed to be a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Dudley who are delivering early help. It is a standardised approach so that all children and families have the same experience of identifying their needs, strengths and challenges. It also means that all agencies and partners are operating the same system, which ensures consistency right across the partnership. 

The approach of early identification puts children and young people at the heart of the assessment and will prevent issues escalating to statutory services. 

Early Help Assessment Guidance 

In order to support the development of Early Help Assessments, the council’s Centre for Professional Practice has developed some guidance documents to support Dudley practitioners and partner agencies completing these type of assessments: 

View the Early Help in Dudley – information for Professionals and Partners video.

If you require further information about Early Help or need support in completing an assessment, please contact the respective Family Centre. Please complete the Early Help Assessment using the Dudley Children’s Portal site


The DSPP Support Level Guidance and Framework and Request for Help and Support Form are available via the Dudley Childrens Portal. 

To make an Early Help Assessment please visit the Dudley Children’s Portal site.