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Early Help

Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic incident we know that some families will be facing new or increasing pressures and challenges. We want to reassure families that our Early Help system is still there for you. We are working together to ensure that you get the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

Our message to families is simple: in Devon there is no wrong door. If you need some help, or if you are concerned for the wellbeing of a child or young person talk to a professional about it.

What is Early Help?

Early Help is the extra support your family can get if you need it. It may be that you want to prevent a problem, or change things for your family before the problem becomes more serious.

It is not a specific service or team, it’s an approach that brings together people from a range of services and teams who will work together with your whole family to help improve the situation for everyone.

It can offer support to families from pre-birth to adolescents with all sorts of issues from parenting, employment and school attendance to emotional wellbeing or anti-social behaviour.

Our leaflet offers more information on Early Help. The leaflet is also available in Romanian  Polish and Arabic.

Please contact the Right for Children Mailbox if you need the leaflet in a different form, or translated into another language.

(To print we recommend you change your print settings to bind on the short edge. This is may show as ‘Flip’ in your printer settings). This leaflet was designed for printing purposes only, and with that in mind will not be fully accessible to someone using assistive technology such as a screen reader.

Why would I need Early Help?

When one person in your family has a problem it often affects everyone else too.

You may be worrying about someone’s physical or mental health, a disability or special need, being a carer, domestic abuse, alcohol or drug misuse, harmful behaviour or involvement in crime.

It could be your child, a young person or another adult, but if the whole family is supported as soon as possible to help cope with their difficulties it’s more likely that things will improve and everyone will be happier.

How does Early Help work?

By identifying and building on your strengths as a family we can help and support you to find long term solutions to your issues, as well as developing your skills to help you manage any future challenges.

You will have one main point of contact. This could be someone you already have a good relationship with such as a youth worker or health visitor.

They will be known as your lead worker and they will help you access the services you need quickly and easily.

The information you and your family provide will only be shared with the people who need to know about it, and only with your permission.

You and your family will be central to drawing up your goals, and we won’t make any decisions without your involvement.

What happens next?

Step 1 Getting help: You can ask for an Early Help Assessment yourself, or someone your family is already in contact with (such as a teacher or someone at your child’s nursery, a health visitor, your GP or a support worker) may suggest one for you. Completing one is a bit like writing a ‘to-do’ list and putting a plan in place to achieve it. It’s the only assessment you’ll have to complete.

Step 2 Listening to you: Your lead worker will meet with you and your family and try to understand the views, needs, strengths and difficulties of everyone as well as how you work together as a family. This family led approach means you can identify your goals and decide your actions together with the people who will be supporting you to achieve them.

Step 3 Your family’s plan: Your family’s plan of support will say who is going to do what and when, including the things you and your family can do to help yourselves.

Step 4 Review: Your plan will be regularly reviewed to make sure it is working or if anything needs to change. Support will continue until your family feels resilient enough to manage your issues on your own.

Getting help

If you are concerned that a child is being abused please call

0345 155 1071

or email

Professionals should complete the MASH contact form.

If it’s an emergency call 999