Early Support

Early Support is part of the Disabled Children and Therapy Service (DC&TS). This is a specialist, multi-disciplinary service which supports disabled children, young people and their families whose main need for services arises from their disability or their intrinsic condition, where these conditions have a substantial or critical impact on the quality of the child’s/young person’s life or/and the lives of their families.   Early Support is part of targeted provision for the service.

What is Early Support?

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Early Support is a coordinated approach which brings together families and professionals to address a child/young person’s additional need or disability.

Early Support works to improve the way that services work with disabled children, young people and their families.

Early Support uses national principles to ensure that children, young people and their families are at the centre of the services. 

Early Support works with children and young people aged 0 to 18 years with an additional need or disability and their families.

The Team Around the Child (TAC) Meeting

Where there are a number of services supporting a child or young people we provide coordination through a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting. At the meeting an Early Support plan is written that addresses the child/young persons and parents/carers priorities. The TAC meeting is chair by a Lead Professional chosen by the child and their family. The Lead Professional acts as a ‘Key Worker’ for the family and can be contacted when the child/young person and parent/carers have any questions about their support.

Supporting Change in Partnership (SCIP)


For families that require a practical intervention a request could be made to our Supporting Change In Partnership (SCIP) service. SCIP is a preventative, time limited approach that sets out to improve outcomes for disabled children, young people and their families. SCIP is solution focused, fosters new skills in families and celebrates success. SCIP aims to prevent respond quickly to children, young people and their family’s needs and is delivered by Early Support Workers and trained Parent Volunteers.

Early Support Worker

An Early Support Worker may work with some families that have been receiving support from the Disabled Children & Therapy Service and no longer require the support of a Social Worker for a period of time. The Early Support Worker will review the child’s plan and package of care on a regular basis and provide the family with practical and emotional support as well as acting as their key worker.

The Early Support team consists of Early Support Coordinators, Early Support Workers and is managed by Early Support and Portage Lead. A Coordinator and Workers are based in West Cornwall, Mid Cornwall and East Cornwall. The team work closely with colleagues from the Disabled Social Work team.

Early Support TAC meetings and SCIP support can be requested by the young person, parents, carers or professionals. You can ask about Early Support by contacting the Early Help Hub.

A Social Worker from the Disabled Children and Therapy Service will talk to a family about being supported by an Early Support Worker. 

At any time your child (aged 0 – 19 years) needs support to coordinate the different professionals working with them. 

Early Support uses the national resources to inform and guide support for children, young people and their families 

For more information on Early Support resources please visit the Council for Disabled Children website.

  • Early Support Lead - Crin Whelan
    Tel:  01872 323329
  • Early Support Co-ordinator (West) - Ravena Marshall-Whitley
    Tel:  01736 336660
  • Early Support Co-ordinator (Mid) - Nathan Wilce
    Tel:  01209 615650
  • Early Support Co-ordinator (East) - Kelly Rowland 
    Tel:  01872 323598

Training can be offered to professionals to help them to feel familiar with the Early Support principles and approach for TAC meetings and SCIP.  Please contact the Early Support and Portage Team Lead or one of the Early Support Coordinators for more information.