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Early Help Service

Our Early Help Service is made of up staff who specialise in supporting children, young people and their parents and carers. We can give practical help, advice and advocacy to Gateshead families who need extra support with

  • family relationships
  • children's behaviour
  • home conditions
  • parenting and introducing routines/boundaries
  • health and wellbeing
  • household budgets
  • leisure and learning
  • help from other professionals

Most families are referred by professionals who are already working with a child or parent - such as a school or health visitor - and support needs have been identified using the CAF process or another type of recognised, written assessment.

Self-referrals from families will be considered where there is no or limited involvement from professionals and/or the family are finding it difficult to enter the CAF process. 

We work with families where they feel comfortable and safe - in their homes, schools or community settings. We are committed to working with the whole family to provide a tailored package of support which leads to lasting change.

Families receiving Early Help services can seek advice and support from a telephone helpline between 9am to 5pm (Monday to Thursday) and 9am to 4.30pm (Friday). Call our duty team direct on 0191 433 3319 or 0191 433 5019.

Early Help can also support families with emergency provisions, including foodbank vouchers, where there is clear and specific evidence of hardship.

Free parenting courses

The Early Help Service offer a wide range of free parenting courses to help parents and carers build effective relationships with children of all ages and with a variety of needs. Families can self-refer for a group parenting programme without being an open case with the team.

These include:

  • 123 Magic
  • Family Nurture
  • Dad's Nurture Programme
  • Strengthening Families
  • Parenting Factor in ADHD
  • Mellow Bumps
  • Keeping up with your Teens
  • Parents as Partners
  • Incredible Years (Babies)

The team also deliver the Freedom programme for victims of domestic abuse.

You can find out more about these courses direct from your family intervention worker or by contacting 0191 433 3426 or by downloading the leaflets below.

What is CAF?

CAF stands for Common Assessment Framework. The CAF is a way of working out what is going well for your family, what extra support your family may need and how best to provide this support. We will work with you to develop an agreed support plan to deliver a joined-up approach to helping your family. Your family intervention worker will suggest a team of people who could provide advice and support. Your plan is reviewed every 5-7 weeks in a Team Around the Family or TAF meeting at a place which is most convenient to you.

Parenting Support

Being a parent can be a very rewarding job. It can also be frustrating and sometimes stressful. Some parents may not be sure about what support is available or do not feel ready to join a parenting programme.

A free monthly drop-in service providing a safe, comfortable space in which to receive parenting advice is also available at Barnardo's on Bewick Road on the first Thursday of the month between 11am and 1pm. Enjoy free tea/coffee and talk to experienced parenting practitioners without the need for an appointment - just drop-in.

Call us direct on 0191 433 3319/5019 to find out more about our group parenting programmes, including details of start dates and venues. Programme details and referral forms are available as downloads on this page.

Information for professionals

Early Help are a Tier 2 family support service. Professionals can make a referral by undertaking the CAF assessment (see downloads) and sending this to the contact details below. Safeguarding concerns should be forwarded to our social work duty team (Referral and Assessment) on 0191 433 2653 or (out of office hours) 0191 477 0844. While self-referral direct from families will be accepted in some cases, the expectation is that the professionals identifying the support needs should take responsibility for the initial assessment of those concerns. Early Help welcome pre-referral discussions  - please call our duty team on 0191 433 3319/5019.


Icon for pdf Early Help Service leaflet [295.61KB]: about our service

Icon for pdf Relational Gateshead contacts guide [541.1KB]: support for couples and separated co-parents

Icon for pdf Early help strategy 2018-2021 [1.25MB]

Icon for word CAF support plan template [276.47KB]

Icon for word CAF assessment template [294.13KB]

Icon for word Parenting referral form [58.5KB]: professionals' referral form for group parenting programmes

Icon for word Parenting self-referral form [52.5KB]: self-refer to one of our group parenting programmes.

Icon for pdf Strong relationships, stable families - details of free group programmes [228.55KB]

Contact us

Early Help Service
Care, Wellbeing and Learning
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Tyne and Wear
Secure email:

0191 433 3319 or 433 5019
Fax: 0191 433 3966

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