Early Help

Early Help

All families go through trying times at some point. Early Help staff will work with you at these times so that small problems don’t get bigger. We work with children, young people and families to offer support and advice when it’s most needed. We can work with you in your local area at one of our centres or even in your home.

We can help you:

  • If you are worried about a child's health, development or behaviour
  • If you are a child, carer or young person looking to find training or further education
  • If you are a child, carer or young person looking for advice on employment or benefits

Support offered by Early Help

Most children, young people and families in Rotherham thrive with access to universal services such as GP’s or school, but some families may need to access additional short-term support to address a specific problem, or may require more intensive, longer-term support, when experiencing increasingly complex issues. The Early Help Service recognises that the needs of children, young people and families are not static and can change over time.

Early Help Teams can provide advice and support for the whole family on issues such as:

  • Parenting
  • Teenagers
  • Behaviour
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Domestic abuse
  • Money, benefits and housing
  • Staying safe – outdoors and online
  • Places to go and things to do
  • Youth offending

Early Help Strategy

The Early Help Strategy: Family Help in Rotherham 2024/2029 was approved by Cabinet in March 2024. Ensuring that every child has the best start in life is a key priority for the Council. The Strategy sets out three phases of support for families: universal and community Family Help, focused Family Help and specialist Family Help.


Support for families in Rotherham

There is a universal Early Help offer for all families in Rotherham. This includes activities and sessions at Children's Centres (including Family Hubs), Early Help sites and community venues across the borough.

We spoke to a number of families who shared their experiences:

Bethany Walker lives in Swinton and has been attending sessions at Swinton Brookfield Family and Children’s Centre. Bethany told us: 

I first enquired about Brookfield Children's Centre when my daughter was a few days old. I was anxious about being a new mum and I didn't know the area I was living in due to moving here just before covid. I spoke with staff and attended a play group session. I was very anxious as my daughter was still so tiny but upon arrival I was greeted with a huge smile by staff. 

“From then on, we attended group sessions. I was asked if I wanted to come along to a baby massage session running and this is where I met my now very close friend.  The Children's Centre for me is a support bubble. I really struggled in my first year of being a mum and having someone to talk to who I didn't feel like I was being judged. It made me get up and out of the house with a tiny baby, as I enjoyed seeing other mums at play groups. Attending these groups has helped my daughter, she is very sociable and loves being around other children.” 

Lesley Woodhead lives in Wickersley and has been attending play group sessions in Thrybergh for the past year. Lesley said: 

I attend the play group at Thrybergh with my daughter and three grandchildren. We all enjoy our time there. We have found it really helpful to be able to ask the advice of not only the staff there but also other mums and grandparents. The atmosphere is always calm, welcoming and friendly.

“It is so helpful to be able to access the knowledge of professionals, we have had help with nursery placements and school advice. We have been coming here for approximately one year and hope to continue coming. I always recommend the different groups to others.”

Online information and support for families can be found on the Rotherham Council website. This includes information on giving your child the Best Start in Life. All families can access a range of free and practical parenting programmes. The courses cover pregnancy to the teen years and include advice and helpful tips to boost your confidence as a parent in Rotherham. To find out more, visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/family-hubs