Support for families and early help

Photograph of a busy family - parents and four children in a dining room

There are a number of reasons why extra help is sometimes needed. Getting the right information, advice and support at the right time can help.


If you're worried about your child's health or development you can speak to your health visitor (opens in a new window), doctor, school nurse or someone at your child's school or early years setting.

Your local children's centre has lots of activities and support groups that are open to all families with children aged up to five. Find out what's on in our early years section. Children's centres also support children with additional needs and their families.

You may be looking for extra help because you are caring for a disabled child, worried about a young person's behaviour or affected by domestic abuse, drugs or alcohol. Your local multi-agency team can offer information, advice and practical support.

They also support in circumstances where children and young people are:

  • not attending school or are at risk of exclusion from school
  • not in education, training or employment after the age of 16
  • involved in anti-social behaviour or at risk of becoming involved in crime
  • carers for other family members.

Early help assessment

Where needs are emerging or low level, individual services and universal services may be able to meet these needs, take swift action and prevent those needs escalating. Agencies who identify the emerging needs of a child and their family should complete Part A of the Early Help Assessment (EHA). Where the support for a child, young person and their family requires the involvement of more than one agency, part B of the EHA should be completed and a Team Around the Family (TAF) convened. The TAF should include the appropriate agencies who may contribute to a TAF Plan, for example:

  • school pastoral teams
  • school health
  • behaviour support service
  • education psychologist
  • police safer neighbourhood team
  • CAMHS.

The TAF should meet regularly to review the progress made and the outcomes achieved.

Where there are issues identified that warrant support from a multi-agency team (MAT) the request for support should be completed. It should include any actions already undertaken and why these needs cannot be met by universal services.

Please see the threshold document attached to this page to help your decision making. If you're unsure about whether a threshold is met please call the professional advice and consultation service for advice and support tel: 01629 535353.

If the child already has an allocated MAT worker or social worker please liaise directly with the allocated worker.

If your request is about an immediate child protection issue or your concern is urgent, please tel: 01629 533190.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

The following documents are in Word format. You can download software to view Word documents for free from the Word viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.

Also on our website