This chapter discusses the experiences of schools in relation to children and families who do not meet the threshold for children’s social care services but who may need ‘early help’ or other forms of lower-level support. First, the reconfiguration of early help arrangements at the local level in the context of austerity is discussed. Second, the implications of the lead professional role for staff in schools are then considered, focusing on the additional pressure this can place on schools but also the potential value that this can bring in terms of multi-agency working. The third and final section considers the additional support that schools provide to children and families using their own resources and outside of formal multi-agency early help arrangements. This includes a focus on family support to address a range of difficulties associated with poverty and what schools are doing to address concerns relating to mental health.
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