The guidance provides a framework for professionals so they can identify if a child or family might need some help and support. Understanding when children and families might need support can ensure they are given the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

Effective support for Children and Families in Somerset

pdf Effective Support for Children and Families Version 4 October 2019

Guidance for all professionals in working together with children and families to provide early help and targeted and specialist support.

pdf Effective Support for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Their Families in Somerset Version 2.2

Updated February 2020

This is a guide for everyone who works with, supports, or is involved with, Children, Young People with additional learning needs or special educational needs or disability (SEND) and their families. It provides advice and guidance as part of Somerset’s graduated response for children and young people with additional learning needs or SEND.


Early Help Assessment (EHA)

The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a simple, easy to use assessment, which captures all of a child/young person’s and family’s needs at the earliest opportunity, and with consent. It is a shared tool which can be used by all agencies in Somerset who are delivering early help in a co-ordinated way, so that they understand and respond to the needs of children/young people.

It is a tool for practitioners to identify the needs of children/young people and their families and make ‘request for services’ involvement where required, if services already involved are not able to meet the identified needs.

If a child or young person reveals they are at risk of suffering actual or likely significant harm, the practitioner should follow the local safeguarding process immediately.

Step Up, Step Down

pdf  Step Up Step Down Protocol

This protocol describes the application of ‘Step Up’ and ‘Step Down’ mechanisms across Somerset to ensure a seamless journey for children, young people and their families through services. Updated October 2020.

Consent Tools:


The Consultation Line for Organisational Safeguarding Leads and GPs

Safeguarding leads and GPs should phone the consultation line when they are unsure whether or not to make a referral to Children’s Social Care (see definition of Level 4 of the Effective Support for Children and Families document).

This could be because you are unsure whether it meets the Children’s Social Care threshold for a statutory Children and Families assessment, although you are clear about the situation you are dealing with, or you want to discuss your analysis/understanding with an experienced child protection social worker.

Consultation line for DSLs & GPs0300 123 3078

Further details and other Designated Lead Resources can be found on the Designated Lead page of the SSCP website.