Early Help

You don’t need to feel alone. Early Help can ensure you get the right help when you need it.

Information for Children/ Young people and Parents

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

What is the Early Help pathway?

The Early Help Pathway involves listening to you and your child to find out your child’s needs and what is working well in your child’s life. An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is put in place to make sure your child gets the right sort of help. This support is voluntary – you and your child can choose to be involved.

How will the Early Help pathway help my family?

Early Help exists to help you support your child. 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 your child – such as teachers and health visitors – work together to support your child. The pathway will help your child receive the right support earlier, before their needs increase. All of your information will be recorded in one place which you can share with the people working with you.  This means that you and your child will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.

When is the Early Help pathway used?

The pathway can be used if you or someone who works with your child would like your child to receive extra support. It will help to identify your child’s additional needs and if other workers are required to support your family.

How does it work?

All workers supporting you and your family have received training and guidance on the best way to help you though the Early Help pathway. If you and your child agree, a worker will ask you and your child some questions to find out what help and support your child might need. This information is recorded on a simple form. You and your child will agree what is put on the form and you will be given a copy of it. Older children may feel able to discuss their situation on their own with the worker. A young person’s wish to keep information confidential from parents may be respected by the worker, where this is in the young person’s best interests and welfare.

What happens next?

Based on the information you and your child provide, all those who can help your child will work together to provide the support your child needs. Only workers who need to know about your child, and with your agreement, will share your child’s information.

Who is a lead practitioner?

You will also have the support of a ‘Lead Practitioner’. This person will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you. The named worker in this role will also co-ordinate all the services supporting you. You and your child will have a say in who should be the lead practitioner.


As a rule information which you and your child provide will only be shared with your family’s consent and you may have been asked to sign a consent form. However there may be certain times when the people working with you need to share information. For example:

  • When they need to find out urgently if a child is at risk of harm
  • To help a child who is at risk or harm
  • When an adult is at risk or harm or,
  • To help prevent or detect a serious crime 

Last Updated on 16 December 2015