Table of Contents

Early Help and Social Care

Early Help and Social Care teams work with children, young people and their families to offer advice and support when problems first emerge.

Early Help

Early Help supports children, young people and families in Rotherham who need more help than universal services such as GPs or school can give them. The Early Help Service can offer

  • short term support with a specific problem
  • longer term support for increasingly complex issues

Advantages of Early Help

Early Help is effective in supporting families because it can provide

  • help when families first have problems
  • strategies to avoid problems happening later
  • support to manage problems

How can Early Help support families?

Early Help staff will work with you at difficult 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.

Early Help Outreach and Engagement Teams

Outreach and Engagement Workers offer

  • Universal Children’s Centre activities for children aged 0 to 5 years and their families including toddler groups, baby massage and baby yoga
  • Targeted groupwork for young people aged 11 to 16 years such as evening groups for young people focussing on topic work and confidence building
  • One-to-one support for young people aged 16 to 18 who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) to help them find a positive destination after leaving school

Early Help Outreach and Engagement Teams are based in Family and Children’s Centre Hubs across the borough:

North Team

  • Brookfield Family and Children’s Centre
  • Dalton Family and Children’s Centre
  • Tel: 01709 334458
  • Email:

Partner offering 0 to 5 services

  • Rawmarsh Children’s Centre
  • Tel: 01709 430420

South Team

  • Maltby Stepping Stones Family and Children’s Centre
  • Dinnington Family and Children’s Centre
  • Tel: 01709 334417
  • Email:

Partner offering 0 to 5 services

  • Aughton Early Years Centre
  • Tel: 01709 2872530

Central Team

  • Ferham Family and Children’s Centre
  • The Place Family and Children’s Centre
  • Tel: 01709 336660
  • Email:

Partner offering 0 to 5 services

  • The Arnold Centre
  • Tel: 01709 828983

For more information, see a flyer for the outreach offer: Early Help and Engagement Service 2022

Parenting programmes

Rotherham Borough Council have an Evidence-Based Hub which offer parenting programmes across the borough, including

  • Triple P 0-12 – a positive parenting programme for children aged 0 to 12 years
  • Teen Triple P – a positive parenting programme for teenagers
  • Fearless – supporting parents to manage their child’s anxiety
  • Timid to Tiger – for anxiety in children aged 9 years or younger
  • Stepping Stones – a positive parenting programme for children with additional needs

Experienced trainers deliver the effective programmes which focus on family life skills, including

  • Healthy communication
  • Discipline
  • How to have family meetings
  • Developing empathy
  • Dealing with aggressive or inappropriate behaviour

Contact details

Contact the Evidenced Based Hub for further Information on:

Evidenced Based Hub Co-Ordinator:

Find out more about Early Help on Rotherham Council’s website:

Early Help (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council)

Assessments for early help and social care

Assessments can be completed by a range of services including health, social care and education. Assessments are carried out with families to understand their strengths and needs.

Early Help assessment

An Early Help assessment is a way to help identify the needs of children, young people and families and to make a plan to meet those needs. All services that work with children and young people; whether in the council, community or voluntary sectors, should use the same method for assessing and understanding needs. Its purpose is to provide a co-ordinated response so no-one misses out on the support they may need.

Children and Families Assessment

This is an assessment carried out by a social worker and is used to determine if a child is in need of services. Information is gathered from family members, including children and other people who know the child, such as teachers, health visitors and doctors.

There is an expectation that any assessment completed includes and reflects parent’s and carer’s wishes and feelings as well as those of the child.

Carers assessment

Parent and carers of children under 18 years now have a stand-alone right to services. To access these services a Parent Carers Needs assessment will need to be carried out.

Wherever possible this assessment will be completed as part of a Child and Family Assessment or an Early Help Assessment rather than an additional assessment of the same family.

Short Breaks Needs Assessment

In Rotherham we use a resource allocation system to assess family’s needs in relation to short break support and identify additional breaks that may be needed.

How to refer

All referrals for Early Help and Social Care are made through the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by calling 01709 336080

Children’s Social Care

Children’s Social Care works with parents, carers and young people in partnership to offer advice and support before a situation reaches crisis point.

They work in partnership with, and may refer to, other services and community groups, including education, health, housing, benefits agencies and the police.

By law, Children’s Social Care has to give priority of service to children with specific categories of need including:

  • those at risk of serious harm and who may need a protection plan
  • those who are, or may need to be, looked after by Children’s Social Care and are unable to remain living at home
  • those in private fostering arrangements
  • those aged 16 or over who are leaving the care of Children’s Social Care or have previously left care and are eligible for Leaving Care services
  • where Children’s Social Care involvement is required by the courts

Find out more about Children’s Social Care


The Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Partnership works to keep children and young people in Rotherham safe from harm. They aim to help all children and young people to be safe, feel secure, well cared for and able to reach their full potential.

Find out more about Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Partnership

If there is no immediate risk of harm, please contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to discuss your concerns about a child on 01709 336080

Rotherham Adult Transitions Team

Transition is the time when young people are moving from children’s services into adult services. Services for adults differ from those for children, so it is important that young adults get the support they need during this time.

Rotherham Adult Transitions Team – Rotherham SEND Local Offer

Children’s Disability Team

The Children with Disability Social Work Team and the Disability Family Support Team work with children and young people with the following disabilities:

  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Severe / profound physical disabilities
  • Autism spectrum conditions including high-functioning autism spectrum conditions
  • Complex health needs (including mental health)

Children who have a degree of disability that do not fall into the above categories and who are in need of a social care intervention will be provided for by mainstream Social Care Teams.

The Disability Family Support Team provides an ‘Early Help’ service for families of disabled children. They will create a package of support for a family based on an Early Help assessment and multi-agency plan.

The Children’s Disability Social Work Team are the preferred service where families, in addition to requiring support for their disabled child or young person, require additional support because of issues in relation to family functioning, risk of family breakdown or other complex needs.

Children’s Disability Team

Short Breaks

Short breaks can give enjoyable experiences for disabled children and young people with or without their primary carers, or a break for parents and families from their caring responsibilities.

Not all families need the same level of support to use these. The levels of short breaks are described below.

Universal short breaks

These short breaks are for all children and young people with and without additional needs allowing them to take part in fun activities together. This could include going to a youth club, after school club or going to Brownies or Scouts.

Commissioned Short Breaks

The Council supports a number of providers to deliver a range of services to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Rotherham Parent Carers Forum

Rotherham Parent Carer Forum provides short break activities for disabled children and their families including family swimming, jump stars and soft play sessions.

Rotherham Parent Carers Forum Events

Elephants in Step and Mini Elephants in Step

The Elephant’s in Step club offers quality activities for young people with disabilities on a monthly basis. The sessions are fully staffed by qualified youth workers and support staff and include activities such as dance and karaoke, arts and crafts, massage therapy and themed games.

The Mini Elephant’s in Step Club is a session for children and young people with disabilities under the age of 13 and supports social and emotional wellbeing, confidence, building positive friendships and socialisation.

Sessions take place at Dalton Youth Centre, Magna Lane, Dalton, Rotherham, S60 4HH. Transport can be provided at a cost of £4


Nexus Multi Academy Trust (MAT)

Nexus MAT offer a range of weekly after school and bi-monthly Saturday clubs to meet the needs of children and young people aged 2-19 with severe learning difficulties – specifically profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and autism spectrum conditions (ASC).

Activities include soft play, creative arts, music, arts and crafts, sports and games, multi-sensory room, outdoor learning and computer work.

Nexus MAT will also offer a minimum of 15 days school holiday short breaks (excluding Christmas). All sessions are staffed by a lead worker and support staff and transport can be provided if required.

Costs: (Payment must be made in advance to secure places and transport).

After school provision: £5

Holiday provision: £10

Transport contribution: £5 per session (no transport available for Saturday clubs).

Please contact the Nexus MAT Extended Services coordinator by emailing or your child’s school, social worker or family support worker for details of how to access Nexus MAT short breaks.

Break Out Club | Holiday and after school clubs

Specialised Short Breaks

This level of short breaks is for children and young people with complex and specialist needs. To access this you need to be assessed by children’s disability services because it involves a child or young person for example, spending time with carers or having an overnight break.

Liberty House

Liberty House offers residential overnight stays for children and young people aged 8 – 18 years. They are registered with Ofsted and can provide support for children and young people with both complex physical and learning disabilities.

Find out more

Families Together Service

The Families Together Service assess, approve and train specialist foster carers to provide short breaks to disabled children in their home.

Children are carefully matched to carers who have the experience to meet their needs by providing tea visits, overnight stays, weekend short breaks or longer periods during holidays.

Families Together carers work closely in partnership with the parents, principal carers, and the professional team around each child. Carers are supported and short breaks are regulated and reviewed by a supervisory social worker and participants of Children in Need meetings.

Once linked, some foster carers provide a regular short break throughout the duration of childhood, whilst others may be for shorter periods to support parents to continue looking after their children.

Direct payments

Individualised short breaks can also be provided through direct payments. Click below to find out more about the type of support available and how to apply:

Direct payments

If you want an assessment to access a short breaks service, contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by calling 01709 336080.

Additional Information

The Short Breaks Statement

Rotherham’s Short Breaks Statement has been created to give Rotherham families with disabled children clear information about the short breaks services available to them.

Rotherham Short Breaks Statement

Short Breaks Needs Assessment

The short breaks needs assessment has been produced to help develop Rotherham’s Short Break Services.

Short breaks needs assessment

The Children’s Disability Register and Information Exchange Newsletter

All local authorities are required to hold a register of disabled children and young people. Joining the register helps inform the Council of the needs of children and young people in Rotherham.

Signing up also entitles you to receive the children and young person’s Information Exchange newsletter for free. This is sent out three times a year before the holidays to inform families about services, events and activities.

Join the children’s disability register

Liberty House

Liberty House aim to provide a valuable and enjoyable experience for all their young people. Children’s safety and wellbeing is their main ethos and they promote this in an environment which allows for development while encouraging participation both within their own setting and further into the wider community.

What we provide

Liberty House gives the opportunity for young people to spend time away from home in a safe, warm, friendly and entertaining setting. Children are given the opportunity to develop their full potential by experiencing a variety of new and stimulating activities both within and outside Liberty House.

What the young people can expect

All young people have individual care plans which highlights their everyday needs. This will detail things from what they like doing to what they like to eat. Key workers are assigned to children allowing for greater personalised care with an aim of developing positive relationships. All children are given opportunities to express their views on what they like to do when at Liberty. Staff are appointed to meet the needs of children in all aspects of their time and support them to get the most from their short stay. Above all we want Liberty House to be a welcoming, fun place to be.

The Liberty Team

The Liberty House team of staff is highly trained and child focused. They are motivated to ensure the highest quality of care is provided to each young person who access the short break service. In-line with the Children’s Homes Regulations 2015 (Short Break) all staff are either working towards or have a minimum level 3 qualification in childcare.

To ensure children are fully supported all members of the team receive ongoing training in a number of vital subjects –including disability focused care. This enhances an already effective and strong team who are dedicated in their desire to work with children and young people with complex needs. The care practices at Liberty House are reflective of national as well as RMBC’s desired aims in achieving positive outcomes for all children accessing this short break provision.

Contact us

Liberty House
St Bedes Road
S60 1HG
tel: 01709 558997

View our most recent Ofsted report 

Useful contacts

Royal Exchange Building
St Annes Square
M2 9QX
Telephone: 08456 404042

Children’s Rights Officer
Riverside House
Main Street
S60 1QY
Telephone: 01709 382121

Complaints Officer
Kevin Rimes
Riverside House
Main Street
S60 1QY
Telephone: 01709 382121

Direct payments

Direct Payments allow families to organise support that is personalised to the assessed needs of the child or young person, so you can choose the services that work best for your child.

Direct Payments are a choice. You are not obliged to accept one.

Guide to direct payments

What is a direct payment?

A direct payment is money from your local authority to allow you to buy the care your child needs instead of having services organised by us. Some of the ways direct payments can be used include:

  • employing a personal assistant
  • employing an agency to care for your child in your own home
  • an activity club session
  • booking short breaks
  • buying equipment

This list is not exhaustive. Direct payments can be used flexibly providing they are used to meet the assessed need and agreed outcomes for your child.

How do I get a direct payment?

An assessment by an allocated worker from a Children’s Disability team, either a family support worker or Social worker may recommend a Direct Payment as an option following the completion of a short breaks needs assessment.

Assessments for early help and social care

Information to consider before receiving a Direct Payment

Your Responsibilities

You must:

  • Be willing to receive direct payments and only spend the money on services to meet your assessed needs
  • Keep records of how the money is spent and agree for these to be checked by the Council
  • Follow good employer practice (if you choose to employ your own carer)

If you Employ Personal Assistants

If you choose a Direct Payment to meet your families assessed short break needs, and have a personal assistant through this, you will also become responsible for the following:

  • You will need to identify a PA.
  • You will become an employer if you choose to use a PA.
  • You will need to ensure the PA has a current police check (DBS check) and this is renewed as needed.
  • You will need to set up a contract with your PA.
  • You will have to arrange and purchase public liability insurance.
  • You will be responsible for paying your PA the agreed rate of pay, in line with employment legislation. 
  • You will be responsible for tax, National Insurance, sick/holiday pay and pension for your employee.
  • You will need to read, understand and sign an agreement as the direct payment will not be released without this.
  • You will be responsible for dealing with any issues concerning your PA.

Direct Payment Support

This may be daunting for some families; however, support is available relating to managing accounts, payroll and recruitment. More information on these providers can be found on the links below:

Managed Accounts (Invoices and Managed Payroll) – Recognised Provider List for Direct Payment Support Services

Payroll Support – Recognised Provider List for Direct Payment Support Services

PA Recruitment Services – Recognised Provider List for Direct Payment Support Services

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