The Early Help Process

The Early Help Process

Our Worcestershire approach to early help and support pathway.

Submit an Early Help Assessment

Step 1: Identification and decision on what response is needed

  • practitioner observes or is informed that the child/family has a need
  • practitioner may need to speak with their line manager, safeguarding lead, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to help identify the way forward
  • if the needs can be met by practitioner’s own setting's Early Help Offer, organise the support directly
  • for additional Early Help resources visit the Early Help web pages on our professional guidance page 
  • consider the parental relationship – could Worcestershire’s Harmony at Home planning tool and resources be used? 

Step 2: Completing an Early Help Assessment

  • discuss needs with the child/young person and family and gain their consent to have conversations with other practitioners involved
  • identify other agencies currently involved and consider a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting to inform the assessment
  • practitioner completes an Early Help Assessment to identify the strengths and the needs of the family
  • The Early Help Assessment should be submitted via the Early help Assessment portal

Is there an additional identified need (Level 2 and 3) for Early Help Family Support that can't be met by the professional or any other service? Read more about Level 2 and Level 3 needs in the Levels of need Guidance

If yes, request services from Early Help Family Support by completing an online form at: Continue supporting the family and work with other professionals, as necessary.

Step 3: Create a plan

  • using the assessment, create a support plan along with the child/young person and their family. Identify SMART actions to achieve the outcomes or goals (for example, attending a parenting course)
  • involve other agencies if additional needs are identified as part of the assessment
  • if more than one agency is involved, agree who the lead professional will be (this may not be the person who wrote the assessment)
  • set a date to review the plan
  • share the plan with the practitioners who attended the Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting as well as the child/young person and family

Step 4: Meet the needs in the plan

  • everyone has a responsibility to carry out their agreed actions from the plan
  • conversations can take place between meetings as required to progress the plan

Step 5: Review progress

  • Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting (or telephone call) every 6-12 weeks to review the plan, this might be a conversation between a single agency and the child/young person or family
  • the review is led by the lead professional
  • the lead professional and other agencies involved review whether there has been 1) positive change 2) no change/improvement or 3) deterioration or concerns increased
  • the decision is made to continue as is/amend the plan/to end the plan as the needs are fully met, or to end the plan and a single agency will meet the need or that only universal services are required
  • if the plan continues, further reviews take place
  • if the plan is not progressing, review and update the assessment, develop a new plan, and consider who else may need to be involved
  • the review can be brought forward if the plan is not progressing, or the needs escalate

Step 6: End of the plan

  • when the child/young person, family and the Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting agree that the needs have been met, the plan will end and all those involved should be informed
  • complete closing summary and submit to the Early Help Assessment Portal
  • submit the closing summary to the portal, retain copies for your own records
  • the child/young person and family have clear information about where they can access support moving forward or if their needs change – signpost to Virtual Family Hub 
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