Family Support

Early Help is a service available to all families in Norfolk. They have services to access support, information and guidance on a range of areas. If you are worried about your child or family and think you might need some extra help you should first discuss your concerns with your family’s health visitor, a children’s centre you visit, or your child’s preschool or school. If you are unable to get the help you need you can talk to the early help team based in your local area.

Breckland – 01362 654515

If you aren’t sure which area you should contact, you can use the central telephone number – 01603 223161.

Please do come and talk to us if you think this could help you because we cannot help if we don’t know you are finding things difficult at home.

The Early help website can be found here for further information www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/early-help

The Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) helps people who are in financial hardship and cannot pay their living costs. There are many reasons why this might happen to you:

  • Redundancy
  • Work hours have been cut
  • On a low income or benefits
  • Waiting for Universal Credit payments
  • A home emergency such a fire or flood
  • Have a special educational need or disability
  • Have mental health issues or in ill health
  • Have left an abusive relationship
  • Have dependent children
  • In a resettlement scheme

If you are eligible we can:

  • Provide emergency financial help
  • Supply essential household goods and furniture
  • Give support, guidance and advice

Please follow the link for more information on how to apply:

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/support-for-living-independently/money-and-benefits/norfolk-assistance-scheme

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 automatically get free school meals if they go to school. It’s called universal infant free school meals. You do not have to apply to get these meals, but if you do receive one of the benefits listed below, you should still apply. This is because it can help raise extra funds for your child’s school (called Pupil Premium). This Government funding can help with extra tuition, teaching, after school activities and help you towards the costs associated with school trips or other extra expenses in school.

If your child is in Year 3 or above, you must receive one of the following benefits to get free school meals:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods) • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

You must apply for these free school meals and extra funding. Please follow the link below if you wish to apply.

https://fiso.norfolk.gov.uk/synergy/Enquiries/Citizen/FreeSchoolMeals.aspx/  You can apply online for free school meals using your Norfolk Education Online (NEO) account. You can use the same account for 2-year-old childcare funding and school admissions.

Those in receipt of Free School Meals are also eligible for a £15 monthly food voucher, as part of Norfolk County Council’s new Norfolk Cost of Living Support Scheme, to support families in need.

Vouchers will be released via email from November 2022 to March 2024.

NCC are not linking the food vouchers to the school holidays but are issuing them monthly to help families with the cost of living. Parents/ carers may choose to save vouchers rather than spend at the time of issue, so they have more funds available during the school holidays if they wish to, within the constraints of the three-month expiry date of the vouchers.

Note: If vouchers expire, they cannot be reissued.

If you become eligible for Free School Meals, please check we have your correct email address.

The Big Norfolk Holiday Fun (BNHF) activity programme provides holiday activities for children and young people aged 5-16 (or 4 if your child is slightly younger but in school) in Norfolk.

It is run in partnership with Norfolk County Council.

This programme runs in the Easter, Summer and Christmas Holidays.

Those who are eligible for means-tested free school meals can claim free spaces on the activities, whilst paid spots are available on many activities for those who don’t. Please see the link for more details and to book sessions.

https://www.activenorfolk.org/public/bignorfolkholidayfun/

The foodbank is available for any of those in need. Please take a look at the links below to find your local foodbank and find contact information.

North Norfolk Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis

Find a Food Bank – The Trussell Trust

If you are concerned about a child in Norfolk and want to speak to someone, contact us on 0344 800 8020. If you consider the incident to be an emergency, call 999.

It is more important than ever that extended family, friends, neighbours and communities speak up and say something if they have concerns. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep children safe and report concerns. We all need to play our part.

Advice on how to keep in touch with children you know and how to spot signs of vulnerability: Reporting child abuse and neglect | NSPCC

Where to go for help

In an emergency, always call the police on 999.

If you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child please call  0344 800 8020. If you see something, or hear something that doesn’t feel right – say something.

Just One Norfolk provides an incredible amount of support through training courses, ideas and a variety of practical support.

For Health Advice and Support for children and families, including mental health support, please take a look at their website: https://www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/

Telephone 0300 300 0123

https://www.family-action.org.uk/

Supporting adult family members via telephone, text, email and web chat.

Family Action provide a listening ear, answer particular parenting questions or help with guidance around more complex issues. All support takes place via telephone, text message or email and is free.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services offer information, advice and support for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This service is also offered directly to young people.

The service is free, impartial and confidential.

KIDS SENDIASS have developed resources providing information and advice for parents, carers, professionals and young people.

https://www.kids.org.uk/sendiass

See what support is available to help with the cost of living and find out how to save money with our energy saving tips.

https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/

Help with living costs – Norfolk County Council

The Benjamin Foundation supports children and families across Norfolk in a variety of ways. They support families through challenging times. Take a look at the website for further information.

About us – The Benjamin Foundation

There are various contacts for support to be found here:

Safety – Norfolk County Council

Offering support and advice if you have concerns about a child

www.nspcc.org.uk/

A toolkit and information for parents on teaching children how to keep safe. We use this in school:

www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/underwear-rule/

Safeguarding Children & Young People in Norfolk – NSCP (norfolklscb.org)

Norfolk Threshold Guide is a guide which shows how decisions are made and how the safeguarding and child protection system works in Norfolk:

Threshold Guide – Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership (norfolklscb.org)

Norfolk Threshold Animation is a useful video clip, 3 minutes long, to show families and children the support available and how the process works:

Norfolk Threshold Guide Animation 2018 – YouTube