Universal support and services
In addition to access to ‘universal services’ (services available to all residents of Shropshire such as education, health, etc) the following universal support is available.
Compass is the front door for children’s social care in terms of receiving new enquiries regarding concerns for the welfare or protection of children and young people in Shropshire. Compass promotes the offer of early help to children and families in the first instance, where it's safe to do so. As a parent you can contact First Point of Contact on 0345 678 9021 for advice and/or support if you're not already working with a professional who can help.
Early help support in Shropshire
In Shropshire we give parents the support and guidance they need to be able to meet the needs of their children, through offering parents early solutions to challenges that arise. These early solutions could be through services which are available to all parents, or it could be that services will be offered through more targeted support.
Together with the family and the community, people working in an Early Help Family Hub will assist in finding help from different services and provide information, advice and support. There will be a range of services available which are co-ordinated via the hub. Some will be available only to those who have the greatest needs, but there will also be services available to any family, child or young person who need them (for example parenting groups, sessions to support young people’s mental health and employment advice).
For families that need it, the hubs also provide targeted help and support to work through issues that may arise during a child or young person’s life, co-ordinated by one lead professional - the early help family support worker.
Government two-year nursery funding
You may be able to access 15 hours of funded early years provision. This programme improves the health, learning and development of two-year-old children as well as being beneficial for the parent. This funding is available for:
- Children who have been 'looked after' but left care under an SGO
- Children who have a statement of educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
- Families in receipt of certain state benefits
Find out more from the Shropshire Family Information Service on 01743 254400 or via the SCIE website.
Government 30 hours free child care for 3-4 year olds
You may be able to get 30 hours free childcare if:
- You live in England
- Your child is 3 to 4 years old
Your eligibility depends on:
- Whether you're working
- Your income (and your partner’s income, if you have one)
- Your child’s age and circumstances
- Your immigration status
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming universal credit, tax credits, childcare vouchers or tax-free childcare.
It's important that you carefully check and confirm eligibility based on your individual circumstances to know exactly what you may be able to claim.
Free school meals
All children in England in reception, year 1 and year 2 attending a state school receive free school meals. Some children qualify for free school meals after year 2 depending on income support-related benefits (universal credit) status. A free school meals checker is available on the Gov.UK website.
For more information take a look at our 'Free school meals' section.
Shropshire Family Information Service
Shropshire Family Information Service provides detailed information, advice and support on all aspects of family life for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-19, and those practitioners supporting them. The service has developed a number of resource packs for some of the more typical enquires received from parents or practitioners. The packs contain information about local and national services and support, as well as resources aimed at children, young people and families.
The FIS also has an online database of over 2000 local, regional and national support services, as well as things to do and places to go.
There are a number of websites that offer a wealth of information, services and things to do for children, young people and families, as follows...
- The Family Information Directory provides information on local, regional and national services and organisations for children, young people and families. It also includes information on registered childcare and things to do and places to go
- Shropshire Local Offer - information about the help and support available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families
- Shropshire Youth Association - a directory of youth clubs and groups in Shropshire, some of which are affiliated to Shropshire Youth Association
- Shropshire Community Directory - information on community groups, clubs, societies and organisations
- Healthy Shropshire - designed to help anyone wanting to make a change in their lifestyle and improve their health. It provides information on support available, and covers stopping smoking, keeping physically healthy, eating healthily, drinking sensibly and feeling positive
- Shropshire Choices - a website that pulls together information from Adult Social Care, Housing and Health that can assist you in finding the information, advice and support that adults, or the person they care for, need to remain independent and keeping well
- Shropshire School Library Service activities listing - Shropshire School Library Service works with a wide range of schools, organisations and partners. We often visit and share their research and information to inform our own practice. This listing includes useful links that we've found beneficial and we wanted to share them with you!