In Westminster we use the term early help to refer to any extra support you may need for your family. This can range from providing information, to support in your home or recommending courses that might be helpful for you. You might already be using some of these services. Many organisations across Westminster provide early help and we try to work together to make it as easy as possible for you to get the right support, at the right time in the right place.
You can visit our online directory where you will find contact details of a wide range of agencies who offer information, advice and support.
If you feel you need some extra support you can gain further information about the Early Help service from your local Family Hub or children's centre. Due to the current situation all stay and plays are closed but Family Hubs are still available to contact by telephone and will be in contact directly with families they work with regularly to offer advice and support in the coming months.
We know these are difficult times for many families, but it is important that we put your health and safety first. We are committed to supporting you and your family and will do this in a variety of different ways. Some ideas for things to do at home with under 5s can be found here: resources for supporting your children at home
We’re improving the support you and your family receive in Westminster. As part of this, we are creating three Family Hubs offering more support and advice that now includes families with children up to 19 years of age.
The Family Hub means the professionals who support you working together – including health visitors, school nurses, outreach teams, Early Help workers, social workers and local organisations.
The first Family Hub opened at the Bessborough Centre in Pimlico in the summer of 2018:
Bessborough Family Hub, 1 Bessborough Street, SW1V 2JD.
Tel: 020 7641 5923 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bessborough Family Hub is open for essential appointments, but wherever possible advice and support will be available on the phone rather than face-to-face. Please call 020 7641 5923 to speak to one of our staff or for one-to-one support.
Find out what's happening at Family Hubs in our latest newsletter
Next year, there are plans to open hubs at Children’s Centre sites at the Portman Centre and Queens Park Children’s Centre, however these plans are currently on hold due to the Coronavirus situation. All the Children’s Centre telephone numbers have stayed the same. Please get in touch if you need support.
If you are a parent, carer or professional and have immediate concerns about the safety of a child or young person you should get in contact straight away by calling the Access to Children's Services team on 020 7641 4000 9am–5pm weekdays or outside of these times the Emergency Duty Team on 020 7641 2388. Emergency Duty Team on 020 7641 2388.
In Westminster professionals should use The Multi Agency Assessment and Referral Form (MAARF) to make a referral to Early Help. If you are using this form for the first time please register via this link This is the form you need to complete if you are a professional and need to make a referral to Family Services (either social care that is not an emergency, or targeted early help).
As outlined in our Early Help Strategy 2019–2022, From Surviving to Thriving, we offer a range of training courses for all Early Help staff working in Westminster.
Unfortunately due to the current situation all training has had to be suspended until further notice. A copy of our brochure can be found in the 'Downloads' section to the left of this page detailing the course offer for your reference. We hope to resume training and schedule new dates as soon as circumstances allow.