Getting ready for the new Early Help contracts

Teenagers relaxing with guitar 220914 webCaroline Ledward, Contract Manager for Youth Work and Reducing Risk Taking Behaviour, gives an overview to date and priorities for the rest of the financial year.

As we work towards achieving the current year’s Youth Work and Reducing Risk Taking Behaviour targets, we also need to be laying the groundwork and preparing for delivery in anticipation of securing the new Early Help contracts.

Over the last quarter, progress has been made around the intensive support and early help service references, and the implementation of the Missing From Home procedure and the new Recording for Early Help Assessments.

However, there is still a lot to do in the remaining quarters to make sure we successfully achieve our targets. It is vital that all intervention types are recorded when recording against the early help and intensive support service references – this is to ensure time spent doing this work is recognised and counted against the contract.

As we move towards a new era and the Early Help contracts, one of the most important areas we need to prepare for is developing our understanding and practice relating to impact and outcomes. As operational and contract staff we need to think about and reflect on:

  • How do we currently view and demonstrate the difference our work makes to the lives of young people; are we showing value?
  • Are there areas of practice which are done well?
  • Are there areas of practice that need improving?
  • What tools are being used; are these effective and giving the right message about who we are and the value we offer young people and their carers/families?


Tracking the difference or impact that engagement with an early help service makes to the lives of young people, their families and communities is going to underpin all the work associated with the new Early Help contracts. It is vital we continue to develop our understanding and practice so that in April 2015, we are ready to hit the ground running.

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