Early help assessments

At some point, your child or family may need additional support from one or more services.

To find out exactly what level of support your family needs, and which services are best placed to provide it, professionals such as your GP, health visitor, childminder, or family support worker, will need to carry out an early help assessment.

This is a holistic assessment focusing on your child, on your needs, and on wider influences that may be impacting on your family life, such as housing or financial difficulties.  The assessment is used across all services who work with children, young people and their families, which involves the professionals meeting with you and your child so that you can tell them what's working, what's not, what support you need and how they can help you.  

They record the information you give them in the assessment form so that they can work out the kind and level of support that they can give you.  They'll draw up an action plan, which sets out this support, so you know what you can expect from the services who will offer support. 

If lots of agencies are involved, there may be a number of professionals working with you from different agencies, so they'll come together to make decisions.  They're known as the team around the family (TAF).  

They will appoint a lead practitioner, who'll be responsible for liaising with you on behalf of the group.