Targeted Support and Appropriate Referral in a Community Setting
There are many support options, across a wide range of services, available to children, young people and families.
Most children and young people have a number of basic needs that are well supported through a range of universal services. These services include schools, early years education and childcare, health, housing, youth services, leisure facilities and services provided by voluntary organisations.
To find out more about the different levels of support available and when it would be appropriate to make referrals for a child, young person or family that you are worried about follow the links below to the Kent Safeguarding Children Multi Agency Partnership Website;
Universal Support – Level 1
Universal services are provided to or are routinely available to all children and families. Read about Universal Support – Level 1
Additional Support – Level 2
Children and families with additional needs who require extra help to improve outcomes. Read about Additional Support – Level 2
Intensive Support – Level 3
Intensive support can be offered to children and families where they have complex or multiple needs requiring local authority services to work together with universal services. Read about Intensive Support – Level 3
Specialist Support – Level 4
Children who are considered to have been harmed or are likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect. Read about Specialist Support- Level 4
Alternatively you can view and download this guidance document, Kent Support Level Guidance which incorporates all of the support levels.
For advice, support and guidance, you can get in touch with your local Early Help District Team by email or phone for a ‘District Conversation’.
You will also find lots of information about different services and opportunities for Level 1 and 2 support in the tiles below and via the Kent Resilience Hubs, Services for Young People area.
If you feel there is a safeguarding need or immediate need for a child, young person or family please visit the Get Help Now page for how to access help and support.
New for 2021 - Kooth's #DontDoItAlone campaign including resources and a video with famous faces, to encourage young people to reach out when they are struggling.
Action for Children: Parent Talk
Action for children offer a free and confidential live chat with a qualified parenting coach. They can talk about anything that supports family life, caring for children or managing their own wellbeing.
Be Free Positive Relationships
The BeFree programme is for 10–18 year old girls and trans individuals, living in Kent, who are at risk of experiencing unhealthy or abusive relationships.
Beat: Eating Disorders
Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from eating disorders, many in secret. Beat's national helpline exists to encourage and empower people to get help quickly, because we know the sooner someone starts treatment, the greater their chance of recovery.
Bereavement Support for Children and Young People
Information and guidance on how you can help a child or young person who is grieving.
Brain in Hand
Brain in Hand gives easy access to personalised support from an app on your phone. It’s packed with features to help you remember activities, reduce anxiety and feel supported.
If you are worried or concerned about a health issue and need advice, text the ChatHealth service on 07520 618850.
Children and Young People’s Counselling Service
We can offer up to six counselling sessions for young people aged 11-19. These sessions can help a young person gain understanding and develop strategies to help them feel better. For primary school-aged children, we can offer the child six sessions with a counsellor, or if more appropriate, we can offer parents six weekly sessions with advice on practical, easy to use strategies to support your child.
CHUMS – Bereavement Support
CHUMS offer specialist bereavement support to children and young people from 3½ up until their 26th birthday in Kent and Medway.
Core Skills Resource Book: Supporting Practitioners to Engage with Children and Young People
This resource book is intended to support practitioners to engage children and young people in their assessment and future interventions in a supportive and enabling way.
Domestic abuse support
Information, advice and support for victims of domestic abuse, friends and family and perpetrators.
Down’s Syndrome Association: Emotional wellbeing resources
The Down's Syndrome Association have created an innovative set of resources to support the emotional wellbeing of children and adults with Down’s syndrome, and their parents and family-carers. There is also a wealth of information and advice on their website covering lots of aspects of family life.
Early Help and Preventative Services
Early Help and Preventative Services offer a wide range of support services to children, young people and families across different levels of need including intensive, targeted and additional support.
Emerge Advocacy Service
Emerge volunteers are there to support young people aged 10 – 25 when they come into hospital because of self-harm, a suicide attempt or because of an emotional crisis.
Exclusion from Education: Turning Things Around
Alongside parents and carers The Anna Freud Centre have created the ‘Turning Things Around’ resource to capture the lived experience of families who have faced exclusion, with the hope that it may support other parents and carers through what can be a challenging process.
Grant opportunities for training, employment and education
Development awards are cash grants to help overcome financial barriers to training, education and employment for those aged 16-30.
Kent Domestic Abuse Consortium have developed the iCan programme to support male adolescents aged 13-16 who have been traumatised by domestic abuse or have unhealthy relationships with their peers or families.
Information for families on Autism and ADHD in children: a support handbook and films
This handbook is for Kent families who would like to know more about Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
Through HeadStart Kent, Salus are able to offer an Intensive Mentoring Service to children and young people.
KCHFT: The Pod children’s therapies
The Pod has been developed by the Kent and East Sussex Integrated Children’s Therapies teams, provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. We support children and young people to develop their skills to their full potential, so they can participate in everyday activities.
Kent and Medway Mental Wellbeing Information Hub
Kent and Medway Mental Wellbeing Information Hub provides help, support, advice and services information for anyone of any age around mental health and wellbeing.
Kent and Medway Safe Havens
Safe Havens are a walk in service to anyone, aged 16+ who may be feeling distressed, frightened, overwhelmed, or that things are too much. Open 6pm - 11pm every evening, including weekends and bank holidays from 4 locations in Kent - Canterbury, Thanet, Medway and Maidstone.
Kent Children and Young Peoples Mental Health Service
Find the most appropriate contact details if you are concerned about a young person’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour's. Including single point of access (SPA), locality teams, neurodevelopmental and learning disabilities service, all age eating disorder service and crisis support information.
Kooth.com online support and counselling
Free online support and counselling for young people in Kent.
Local Transformation Plan from Kent and Medway CCG
Kent and Medway Children and Young People's Mental Health Local Transformation Plan
Mental Health Foundation: Fundamental facts about mental health (2016)
A comprehensive summary of mental health research, providing a unique handbook of key facts and figures, covering all key areas of mental health.
NASEN: helping everyone achieve
nasen (National Association for Special Educational Needs) is a charitable membership organisation that supports all education practitioners by providing relevant Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL), resources, advice, information and much more to enable staff to meet the needs of all pupils including pupils with learning differences.
National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society help the 700,000 Autistic people in the UK and their families. Since 1962, they have been providing support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for Autistic people.
NCB – Learning from HeadStart Partnerships
Collating key learning and best practice from across the six HeadStart partnerships - united in their focus on improving resilience, preventing emerging mental health problems and reducing the need for specialist services.
NELFT All Ages Eating Disorder Service
Specialist help and support for those experiencing disturbances in eating behaviour, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape and /or weight.
Our Time: Helping young people affected by parental mental illness
Over 2.9 million young people in the UK live with or care for a parent with a mental illness. 'Our Time' helps young people dealing with parental mental illness. They make sure they get the support they need and have their voices heard.
Porchlight Adolescent Wellbeing Service PAWS
This service is for 10-17 year olds in Thanet who are experiencing anxiety or similar issues, a breakdown in family communication, or a breakdown in relationships with their school or peers.
There are six areas in our lives where we can promote resilience. Here you will find the Resilience Conversation tool as well as information, guidance and a video.
Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm. Each course has up to 8 young people, all accessing the sessions from their own phones, tablets or laptops across the UK.
SEND Information HUB – Kent’s Local Offer
A local offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support services are available in their area.
Get help. If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, our trained Shout Volunteers are here for you, day or night. If your life is at imminent risk, please call 999 for immediate help. Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, anonymous text support service. You can text from wherever you are in the UK.
Supporting young people who self harm
Guidance for working with young people who self harm
The BeYou Project
The BeYou Project connects young people in Kent and Medway who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary or are questioning their sexual orientation and / or gender identity. Offering a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental space where young LGBT+ people can meet to socialise, have fun and help each other.
The Fantastic FRED Experience
The Fantastic Fred Experience is part of the Good Mental Health Matters campaign, launched by NHS Kent in 2019, to help raise awareness of mental health among young people in Kent, and equip children at a very early age to improve their lifelong emotional resilience.
Traumatic Bereavement: Free Evidence Based Resources
Traumatic bereavement can be easily missed or misunderstood by parents, teachers and even bereavement practitioners, meaning that children’s difficulties are not recognised. These resources will give school staff and practitioners the knowledge and tools they need to identify, help and support children and young people experiencing a traumatic bereavement.
We Are With You: Mind and Body Programme
Mind and Body accept referrals from young people, parents/carers and professionals. We Are With You can offer 1:1, group and in school support to young people aged 13-25 who may be struggling with self – harm or their mental health, where they have not taken any steps to end their own life in the last 3 months.
Why is it so important to address anxiety?
Many autistic children and adults experience anxiety. It can affect a person psychologically and physically. Constant anxiety can be extremely distressing for autistic people. It can lead to meltdowns, self-harm and depression. It is important to identify what is causing a person’s anxiety and then to take steps to reduce it. Our guides talks about the different ways to manage anxiety.
Young Minds: Recognising and Supporting OCD
Having the same distressing thoughts and urges again and again can be a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. Find out more about OCD and what to do if you're affected by it.