Safe in Essex

Update: 11th December 2018

Our current Family Innovation Fund (FIF) contract ends in March 2019. Essex County Council is continuing to commit to early intervention and now in the process of awarding FIF Grants for 1st April 2019. However, because of developments in early help services, for example the newly established Family Hubs, together with significant financial challenges, the funding has been reduced and the FIF model adapted accordingly. 

The Coaching, Mentoring and Young People’s Risk Behaviours services will continue post April 2019 and the incoming providers of this support will be communicated to you in good time for April 2019. In the meantime The Children's Society have agreed with the commissioner that we will stop taking referrals for these services with immediate effect. This is because we have already exceeded our agreed target delivery and continuing to work to capacity to ensure that work with our current families is completed in good time for March 2019. 

Essex County Council continue to invest a substantial amount of funding to deliver early help through a range of other provision, including the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service and referrers should continue to use their local directory of services to access different pathways of support.


Safe in Essex is a project at the Children’s Society East that is an early intervention team that support young people aged 10-18 years old around awareness of risk taking behaviours. Our main focus is group work and we deliver our support at many schools within North, Mid, South and West of  Essex. The only restriction to accessing this service is that the young person being referred is not already working with higher support services such as for example EWMHS, Family solutions, Social Care .

The main delivery of support is through structured group work which is an intervention set up for up to 15 young people running at 4-8 sessions. This support can then lead on to 1:1 support if a further need is identified for an individual in that particular group.

Targeted one off sessions are also delivered to groups of up to 35 young people at one time. These sessions can be delivered as PSHE lessons or as part of workshop days. Although the service offer these targeted sessions, its offers on the basis that a structured group will lead on from the one off session, with those YPs identified as needing further more detailed support.

This service delivers support on the following identified needs: 

  • Awareness around substance misuse (not for young people who are using but for young people who may be a risk of going down that route. Those who are using can be referred to our EYPDAS team)
  • Healthy/unhealthy relationships
  • E-safety
  • Sexting
  • Gangs
  • Peer pressure
  • Bullying
  • Self-esteem
  • Sexual health
  • Consent
  • Managing anger and conflict
  • Exam stress

We also offer a structured group programme called 'Run the Risk' which is 6-8 weeks of group work, which focuses of a different risky behaviour each week.