How we put early help into practice

It is everybody’s responsibility to identify and assess need, through having conversations with children, young people and their families and planning with them to address these needs. Our early help approach is underpinned by: Assess, Plan, Do and Review. The following shows how we work when addressing social care needs. A similar approach is used when meeting educational needs.

Anyone working with a child, young person or family:

Identifies that a child or family need additional support 

Conversations take place with the child or young person and their family to assess need. An offer of additional support is provided from within the agency’s own organisation. A single agency early help plan is developed with the family. Progress and plans are reviewed with the family.

 

Identifies that needs of the child or family cannot be met by their own single agency

A coordinated multi-agency approach is then required which is underpinned by an Early Help Assessment. A worker is identified to lead and coordinate the plan, which is developed with the family and agreed with other agencies. Progress is reviewed with the family and the Team around the Family.

 

Identifies that a child may be a child in need (Section 17)
or is at risk of or has suffered significant harm (Section 47)
as defined in the Children Act 1989

They should discuss their concerns in the first instance with their Safeguarding Lead or line manager if they are unsure if a child or young person is suffering significant harm. If a child or young person is suffering significant harm they should contact Duty and Advice at the Front Door.

Duty and Advice will have a conversation with the referrer to discuss the concerns and advise the most appropriate course of action. This may include making a referral to Children’s Social Work Service, signposting to specialist services or recommending that an Early Help (re) Assessment is more appropriate.

For more information regarding Duty and Advice please see the one minute guide or What to do if you are concerned about a child.

The following forms will help you in undertaking an early help approach: 

  • Early Help Assessment This form will help you to capture your assessment of the current needs of a child/young person and their family. It should be completed in partnership with the child/young person and their parents/carers. The assessment is used to agree next steps in order to access appropriate early help support and co-ordinate services. This is primarily intended to be used for a multi-agency assessment, however could also be used for a single agency assessment. This should be kept on the child/young person’s file by the lead professional and also uploaded to MOSAIC if you have access.
  • Early Help: My Plan This form will help you to develop an early help plan in conjunction with the child/young person. This should be kept on the child/young person’s file by the lead professional and also uploaded to MOSAIC if you have access.
  • Early Help Request Form This form is used to request early help support through an Early Help hub or cluster, for a child/young person, or to refer a child or young person to an early help support service; Restorative Early Support, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Signpost or Family Together Leeds. On completion the form should be submitted to the appropriate service (see here for contact details).

All three forms are available by emailing families.first@leeds.gov.uk

For technical support in completing these forms please see here.
 

To register early help activity:

  • If you have access to Mosaic and are undertaking activity yourself, please record this directly onto Mosaic.
  • If you do not have access to Mosaic, please contact the Families First team to register the activity by calling 0113 3781840.
  • Should you need any further assistance regarding early help activity, please contact your local Early Help Hub.

For further information on Early Help:

Documents available for you to print off

Workforce development opportunities: