What is Early Help?

Early Help is important at all times, even if a person is in crisis or requiring high levels of skilled intervention in one part of their life, early help can still be appropriate in other parts of their life, and both can happen at the same time.

Early Help means providing support as soon as the problem emerges, at any point in the child’s life from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

– Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018

Early Help is stopping a problem before it happens, like putting a stop sign in the middle of the road.

– Somerset Youth Parliament, 2020

Somerset Early Help Strategy

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.

Team Around the Family (TAF)

Top Tips for a Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings – Guidance to assist staff working in a Team Around a Family (TAF), or as Lead Practitioner.  Published March 2021  

Lead Practitioner

Top Tips for Lead Practitioners – Guidance to assist staff working as a Lead Practitioner.  Published February 2022  

Early Help Training

A multi-agency working group has developed a training package called ‘Early Help – A Quick Guide’. The quick guide is a free bitesize cascade training presentation together with session plan to raise awareness of Early Help support within Somerset. Both of the documents are designed to work alongside each other. The package can be found on the training section by following this link.

Free Effective Early Help for Families in Somerset Training

Starting April 2021 we’re running a series of six ‘bite-sized’ workshops aimed at giving participants knowledge, skills and resources to support the needs of families as part of an Early Help response in Somerset.

These workshops have been developed by multiagency partners from Children’s Services, Education and Health coming together to share their expertise and unique perspectives of Early Help in Somerset and cover the core elements needed to help support families.