What is Early Help?

Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018

‘Effective early help relies upon local organisations and agencies working together to: identify children and families who would benefit from early help; undertake an assessment of the need for early help; provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child’

Early Help is about taking action as soon as possible to tackle problems for children and families before they can grow into something that is more difficult to overcome.  It is about identifying children and families that may be at risk of running into difficulties and providing timely and effective support.

There will be times when children and families need support and times they are not sure what they need to do to make things better. Early Help can support them at these times and make problems easier to understand and quicker to solve.

Early Help involves listening to children and families to find out about their needs and what is working well for them. An action plan, agreed with the parent and the child, is put in place to make sure they get the right sort of help. This support is voluntary – the parent or child can choose to be involved. 

It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed. Having an Early Help action plan in place will ensure that everyone involved with the child and family – such as teachers and health visitors – work together to provide support. This approach will ensure that the family receive the right support earlier, before their needs increase. All of the information will be recorded in one place which the family can share with the people working with them. This means that the child or the parents will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.

Early Help can be used when someone working with a child or family feels that additional support might be needed. The assessment will help identify a family’s needs and gather the families’ information. The assessment is a simple form and the family, and the workers supporting them, will receive a copy of it.

Based on the information gathered in the assessment, all those who can help support the family will work together to meet the needs identified in the assessment.  A plan will be put in place and reviewed regularly.

Early Help Analysis Review Cycle 

1. Analyse

Complete pre-assessment or Early Help Assessment for the family in order to assess their strengths and needs

2. Plan

Complete a Family Action Plan identifying actions for practitioners and the family to fulfil.

3. Do

Practitioners and family members complete the actions assigned to them in the plan

4. Review

Review the action plan: 

  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do it?
  • Is anyone better off?


Last Updated on Monday, January 23, 2023

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