Early Help Planning

Early Help Planning - Appreciative Inquiry (AI)


  • Child and family centred approach
  • Early Help 
  • Getting the basics right
  • Professional confidence & mutual respect
  • Strengths-based approach to learning


The LSCP is piloting Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as an approach to supporting Safeguarding Practice Reviews (Working Together 2018) and to help us understand, define and celebrate good practice in Leeds. This Appreciative Inquiry is our first one focussing specifically on good practice and relates to early help planning in respect of a young child who has a hearing impairment. 

Key learning and practice improvements

Child and family centred approach:

  • Parental confidence is enhanced by working in partnership, effective lead practitioner support and the knowledge that their child’s needs are being met.
  • High-quality information sharing and communication leads to confident and inclusive planning.

Early Help:

  • Shared commitment to the Early Help approach strengthens practice and outcomes.
  • The role of lead practitioner is key in ensuring effective multi-agency early help.
  • Effective early help involves investment and commitment.
  • The early help approach can make a real difference for the parent and child.

Getting the basics right:

  • The Team Around the Family (TAF) includes family members and practitioners, all with a different role to play.
  • Team stability, accessibility and visibility make a difference to all involved. 
  • Technology can enable participation, for example Skype and conference calls.
  • Responding promptly to changing circumstances.

Professional confidence & mutual respect:

  • A work environment that embraces learning, development and high quality safeguarding support and supervision influences professional confidence and judgement and  flexibility of approach. 

Strengths-based approach to learning:

  • Focuses on what is good:  we can do more of this.
  • Helps to build practitioner confidence and affirm core values.

Your next steps

Share and discuss the identified good practice and learning points with colleagues, and ensure the following is embedded in your practice:

  1. Ensure children and families are central to planning.
  2. Regularly review and ensure that you are “getting the basics right.”
  3. Consider how technology can support practice.
  4. Think about how strengths based learning can support practice in your area of work.

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