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What is Early Help?

Early Help is what we call the support we give to children and families as soon as problems start. By giving that help quickly, we can stop little problems becoming big problems which are harder to fix.
Middlesbrough Council's Early Help service is called Stronger Families. We work with children and families to help them get the most out of family life, be healthier, achieve, be safe, and enjoy their lives together.

How can Stronger Families help?

Some of the problems we help children and families with include:

  • Drug and alcohol issues
  • Domestic abuse
  • Mental health issues
  • Money and housing problems
  • Bereavement (someone dying)
  • Relationship problems
  • Children's health, development, behaviour, and progress at school

Who can access this support?

All children and families are entitled to Early Help support. You can ask us for support yourself, or you can ask someone else to put you in touch with us, like:

  • A teacher at your/your child's school
  • Your health visitor
  • Your GP
  • Nursery staff
  • Any other services you might already be working with

To ask for Early Help support, you can email us at or call 01642 726004.

What will happen when I ask for this support?

  • We'll spend time with you and listen to what is working well, what worries you have and explore what help you think is needed. We do this by completing an early help assessment with you.
  • As part of the assessment we'll talk to your child to make sure they understand how they are feeling and ask them if there is anything they want help with.
  • We'll work with you to agree an action plan and set up a meeting, bringing services together who are working with you, as well as inviting new services who might also be able to help you.
  • We'll ask you if we can share the details of your information with other services who can help you. You can read our privacy notice if you want to know more about how we look after your personal information and share it with people.
  • We'll hold review meetings to check what progress is being made.