Support for families - 'Early Help'

The purpose of Early Help is to prevent any issues from getting worse by offering support at the right time. Any professional working with your family, such as those based in schools, health services, and in voluntary sector organisations, can offer Early Help services as soon as they can see that advice, support and/or intervention may be needed.

Early Help works best when it is offered to the whole family and when services are delivered jointly by professionals. Early Help is everyone’s business.

Early Help Assessments

Early Help Assessments (EHA) are how professionals identify and assess your family's needs.

The assessment is completed in partnership with your family and also a range of different organisations such as the council, schools, health services, etc, in order to create a package of support that meets the needs of the whole family.

The Early Help Assessment means everyone can make sure the support is working and making a difference to your family.  It also helps to improve local services for everyone.

For professionals: Early Help Assessment templates and guidance notes 

Locality teams

There are three Early Help locality teams in Warrington:

  • East Team (Culcheth, Glazebury, Croft, Birchwood, Poulton North/South, Rixton, Woolston, Orford, Poplars and Hulme)
  • South Team (Fairfield, Howley, Latchford East/West, Stockton Heath, Appleton, Grappenhall, Lymm, Thelwall)
  • West Team (Burtonwood, Winwick, Westbrook, Great Sankey, Whittle Hall, Penketh, Cuerdley, Chapelford, Old Hall, Bewsey, Whitecross)

Each locality team is made up of staff from different professional backgrounds including early years, children centres, family outreach, youth services and other specialist services.

Locality teams work with other partner agencies such as schools, health, police, community safety team, housing providers, probation and substance misuse providers to support children and families.

Early years education and childcare

In Warrington there are a range of settings that provide education and learning during your child's early years (ages 0-4). This includes playgroups, day nurserieschildminders and private nursery schools, all of which can increase your child’s social skills and enable learning through play. Find out more about childcare.

You are entitled to funded childcare if your child is age 3 or 4, and aged 2 in some cases: Funded early education places.

If you need any advice or support about childcare and early years contact the council's Information and Childcare Team on They have specialist workers who support parents, carers and practitioners to make sure early education in Warrington is high quality.

There is also support available in local children's centres.

Support for children with special educational needs and disabilities

If your child has special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) there is specialist support available including advocacy, advice and activities to help your child to achieve their personal learning, development and social goals.

SEND services can help you, as a parent/carer, and you child (up to the age of 25) to make informed decisions. Impartial advice and practical support is available on many topics including:

  • Moving to high school or college
  • Annual reviews
  • Disagreement resolution

Specialist support for children with SEND includes the Portage Service.  You can find many more local support, advice and activities on the Ask Ollie website

Support for older children and teenagers

The council's Youth Service works with young people aged 11-19, and up to 25 in some cases, to support their personal, social and emotional development.

There is a range of support available including personal one-to-one sessions and also group sessions, which can be open to all or targeted specifically to young people experiencing similar difficulties or situations.  

Find out more about the Youth Service.

Support for the whole family

Family Support

Family support is delivered by a dedicated team of workers known as the Family Suuport Team.  They can support you to help improve the life chances of your children if you, as a family, are experiencing challenges such as debt, housing issues, domestic violence, poor mental or emotional health, or substance misuse.  

The team will assess your situation and visit your home to help you to make improvements to your family life and wellbeing.

Parenting support

Parenting programmes are delivered across Warrington by various organisations and they can help you based on your specific circumstances such as the age of your children, or your family's needs and goals. 

Parenting programmes can help you, as a parent, provide the best possible environment for your children to develop socially and emotionally, and to reach their full potential. The programmes aim to promote your family's wellbeing and resilience by supporting you to build good relationships with your children from as early as possible, therefore reduce the likelihood of problems arising in the future.

How do I refer a child for Early Help?

Parents, carers and young people 

If you need support for you or your family, you can contact any of the services listed or linked to from this webpage, or speak to a member of the Early Help Support Team who can help you to access the right support.


If you are a professional, such as a teacher, doctor, nurse, youth worker, etc, you must use the Multi Agency Request for Services (MARS) form to refer a child/family:

Early Help Assessment templates and guidance notes

Intergrated Early Help strategy

The 2000s saw a significant increase in spending directed towards early intervention and prevention services. From 2010, this funding began to significantly decrease and in some areas be discontinued. In Warrington, the council has retained its commitment to deliver vital early help services by continuing to fund our children’s centres and family support services, and we have retained our provision for young people via our youth service.

Latest data shows that almost one in three children in the UK are living in poverty1 and these numbers are continuing to rise. This is placing families under pressure and increasing the need for

multi-agency support services to come together to match families to the right level of support at the right time they need in line with our ‘Thrive’ framework. We recognise that families’ needs can fluctuate and they will also draw on informal networks of support through family and communities.

In Warrington, we believe that by offering access to wide reaching universal and more targeted early help services, this will lead to fewer children and families needing more intensive statutory services.

Link to the document - Integrated Early Help strategy | My Life Warrington