Developing A SEND Early Help Offer in Shropshire


PACC has been highlighting the need for a specific SEND Early Help offer in Shropshire for some time.  Early Help is about providing early support, rather than waiting until a child or family’s situation hits crisis point.  Early Help can be appropriate at any stage of a child’s or young person’s life.

Feedback received by PACC over the last couple of years has suggested that the current Early Help offer in Shropshire is not effectively responding to the needs of SEND families, therefore we welcomed the Early Help Review announced before Christmas.  PACC has provided in put to the Review in two ways; before Christmas, Sarah and Zara met with the independent Review lead to share key relevant points shared with PACC in our recent ‘State of SEND – Shropshire Update 2022’ report linked to the delivery of Early Help.  We have also carried out a more targeted survey during December and January asking parent carers to specifically tell us about their experience of Early Help in Shropshire.  The resulting report on ‘Shropshire Early Help and SEND’ has been shared with the Review lead and Tanya Miles, the Director responsible for Adult and Children’s Services in Shropshire. Tanya has Provided the following response to the PACC report:

‘Firstly I would like to thank all those members of PACC, parents and carers who have children with special needs and/or disabilities who completed the survey.  Your feedback, suggestions and views are valued and come at a time when Shropshire Council’s People Directorate is reviewing its Early Help system.   Your feedback is so important and I am committed to do everything I can across the Early Help System to ensure children with SEND and their families get the support they need, when they need it. 

Early Help is not a single service and is made is up network of services, processes and interactions that aim to help children, young people and their families at the earliest opportunity.  Part of the survey also helpfully incorporates some ideas and suggestions that will feed into the Early Help System review but will also be shared with the SEND Partnership Board and Integrated Care System as a call to action.   The survey response is thorough with plenty of detail and yet there is one thing that touched me in a simple, single sentence.  This was that Early Help should be someone to turn to, with understanding and who will help.  The need for ‘empathy and understanding’ is repeatedly highlighted by parent carers, indicating that Early Help must show improved recognition of the challenges that supporting a young person with SEND can bring for parent carers. 

Thank you again for your contribution.  Recommendations from the Early Help Review will be shared with PACC to circulate to the SEND community in due course and I look forward to further developing the Early Help system with you. 

Kind regards,

Tanya Miles

Executive Director of People’


PACC will continue to work with services across Education, health and social care to promote the development of an effective Early Help offer for Shropshire SEND Families and look forward to supporting the next steps of the Review.

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