Additional early help support

Early help is the support we give to children, young people and their families where they have additional needs that are not being met by universal services – for example, their school or GP. The support is given through our Early Help Family Solutions service.

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How to receive additional early help support

There are a number of ways you can access early help support through the Early Help Family Solutions service.

Be referred by a professional

A professional who is already in contact with your family, such as a teacher or health visitor, might suggest that you would benefit from early help support. You could also speak to a professional currently working with your family to find out more.

If you decide to take the early help support

  1. If you take the support, a family key worker will work together with you and your family to identify what support is best for you and your family. They may suggest services that can help or, if your needs are bit more complicated, they may complete a Child and Family Wellbeing Assessment (CFWA) to establish your needs
  2. You will then be invited to a meeting with the different people who could help your family. This could include workers from schools, health visiting, services working with young people and a wide range of other services. This is called a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting. Everyone will decide on a Lead Professional. This person will be your main contact who will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you during the whole process.
  3. Professionals will then review your situation and see how well the plan is working and if anything needs to change. At this stage everyone might decide that things have improved enough for Early Help to stop. Alternatively, if there are still things that your family needs support with, Early Help will continue and a further review date will be set.

If you are a professional, read about how referrals are made.

Child and Family Wellbeing Assessment (CFWA)

A CFWA is used to help us understand how we can provide the right professionals and services to prevent problems escalating into bigger ones. You'll work together with the key worker to agree on what support will be needed, this will be reflected in your assessment.

You'll be asked to talk about the things that are going well, what you are proud of, and what things you are finding a challenge. The key worker will also talk with your child or children to make sure they understand how they are feeling, and ask what they need help with. 

If the key worker believes you and your family need to be referred for more intensive early help support, they will need to refer you and your family to the relevant service.

How to get more information about early help support

If you would like to find out more about early help, you can talk to the professional involved with your family. This could be:

  • a teacher at your child’s school
  • your GP
  • your health visitor
  • nursery practitioner
  • your housing support worker
  • Best Start support service – they can refer you to early help
  • parenting programme  – they can refer you to early help