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Early Help

Early Help information for Professionals

Early Help is an integral part of everyone’s role.

It is the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families when they need extra support to thrive.

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

The aim is to identify and build on a family’s strengths to help them resolve their own difficulties and support them to develop skills to prevent further problems and better manage any future challenges.

The principles of Early Help

  • Always do something – at the very least, talk to another practitioner to explore a way forward.
  • If you think a family needs help, you need to act quickly before the situation or problem worsens.
  • If a family approaches you for help, you need to respond promptly and begin to assess their need and identify how support should be provided.
  • A family must give their consent for Early Help before information can be shared across agencies via the Right for Children system.
  • Conversations, meetings, assessments and plans should be purposeful and lead to actions to improve outcomes for the family.
  • The family are central to the Early Help process and should be involved throughout the assessment, plan and subsequent reviews.
  • All communication and decision making should be shared, both with the other practitioners involved and with the family. Nobody should be working in isolation.
  • Once a family’s situation has improved and been sustained for an agreed period, support services should reduce or end to enable the family to be independent.
  • If Early Help isn’t working, conversations may become challenging. If an agreement cannot be reached, practitioners should refer to the dispute resolution process and seek support from their own agency.

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