What to do first

Early Help Offer

Early Help Offer

Children at risk of abuse or neglect

If there are safeguarding concerns:

First steps

If a child or family needs more support than you can offer, the Family Information Service can advise on what is available. You may feel you need a plan for a family but do not need other services to support you. An assessment is not required if the issue can be easily resolved by one agency. Complete the Pre Early Help action plan if you do not need to arrange an assessment. Some families just need extra support during school holidays. If the needs of the child aren’t clear, you should consider an Early Help Single Assessment.

Early Help Assessment

The assessment helps identify where a family needs help; it is not needed when there is a simple solution to the problem. Early Help is voluntary; the family must consent to any support given. The assessment is completed by a trained professional, who is known to the family:

  • teacher;
  • health visitor;
  • SENCo;
  • school nurse;
  • GP;
  • any professional the family is comfortable talking to.

Training is available if you need to complete an assessment.

Undertaking an assessment

When you or a colleague are ready to complete the assessment:

You can then arrange the first Family Support Meeting (FSM) An Early Help Officer will be allocated to support you and will contact you to discuss next steps.

Family Support Meetings

The first meeting should be held within 15 working days of the assessment. The family and professionals involved must agree on an action plan, including up to 4 desired outcomes.

The meeting will be chaired by the person who arranged it. They must:

The parents and children contribute to the action plan.

The lead professional will be point of contact for the family and monitor the action plan. This might be the person who wrote the plan, or another professional at the meeting.

Ending the process

The early help process will end if:

  • The needs identified in the assessment have been met;
  • all remaining actions can be completed by a single agency;
  • a safeguarding concern has been identified and social care have taken the lead on support;
  • or the family no longer wishes to continue.

At the final Family Support Meeting:

If there are ongoing actions after the plan has ended, you can use a post closure action plan.

Training and support

Training is available if you need to start the Early Help Assessment process, or take on the role of Lead Professional.

The training covers:

Check Wilma for dates. If you do not have a Wilma login, please create a guest login, or call the Early Help Training Team on 01926 414147

Early Help Officers

Early Help Officers (EHO) provide support on:

If you do not know who your local EHO is call us on 01926 414147

Locality panels

The locality panel is a multi-agency group who seek to find solutions for stuck cases.

If a case is not progressing or actions are not working they can be referred to the area locality panel for support using the Locality Panel Referral Form.

Please read the Locality Panel Guide and Terms of Reference for more information.