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Early Help

Important Update from the Early Help Locality Teams

As you may be aware, the Early Help Locality Teams are currently delivering their support offer with a reduced staff team and are unable to recruit at this time. We are, therefore, having to rethink the way we are working to provide you the high-quality service you have come to expect.

Early Help is not a separate service, it is how we all work together within the partnership to meet the needs of children and families. Our Locality Teams are here to help and guide you with the Early Help processes but are not family case holders. We are a supportive team who want the best for children and have at times stepped into support roles that should be delivered by the wider partnership. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer these additional support roles. To enable us to continue to provide a high standard of support we are implementing a number of changes to our current offer.

Our priorities going forward will be to:

  • Deliver Triage so please continue to submit Requests for Triage discussion to the relevant Locality Mailbox.

Northern Devon:

Southern Devon:

Mid and East Devon:


What we will not be offering at this time:

  • Attendance at Team around the Family Meetings (TAF)
  • Completion of Early Help Assessments and /or Plans.
  • Practitioner forums.
  • Attendance at non-priority meetings.

Thank you for your on-going support and understanding at this time.

Best wishes.

Ian Flett, Service Manager Early Help – (FIT/YIT/FGC and Early Help Delivery)

What is Early Help?

Early Help is the extra support your family can get if you need it. It may be that you want to prevent a problem, or change things for your family before the problem becomes more serious.

It is not a specific service or team, it’s an approach that brings together people from a range of services and teams who will work together with your whole family to help improve the situation for everyone.

It can offer support to families from pre-birth to adolescents with all sorts of issues from parenting, employment and school attendance to emotional wellbeing or anti-social behaviour.

You can find our full Early Help strategy here

Why would I need Early Help?

When one person in your family has a problem it often affects everyone else too.

You may be worrying about someone’s physical or mental health, a disability or special need, being a carer, domestic abuse, alcohol or drug misuse, harmful behaviour or involvement in crime.

It could be your child, a young person or another adult, but if the whole family is supported as soon as possible to help cope with their difficulties it’s more likely that things will improve and everyone will be happier.

How does Early Help work?

By identifying and building on your strengths as a family we can help and support you to find long term solutions to your issues, as well as developing your skills to help you manage any future challenges.

You will have one main point of contact. This could be someone you already have a good relationship with such as a youth worker or health visitor.

They will be known as your lead worker and they will help you access the services you need quickly and easily.

The information you and your family provide will only be shared with the people who need to know about it, and only with your permission.

You and your family will be central to drawing up your goals, and we won’t make any decisions without your involvement.

What happens next?

  • Step 1 Getting help: You can ask for an Early Help Assessment yourself, or someone your family is already in contact with (such as a teacher or someone at your child’s nursery, a health visitor, your GP or a support worker) may suggest one for you. Completing one is a bit like writing a ‘to-do’ list and putting a plan in place to achieve it. It’s the only assessment you’ll have to complete.
  • Step 2 Listening to you: Your lead worker will meet with you and your family and try to understand the views, needs, strengths and difficulties of everyone as well as how you work together as a family. This family led approach means you can identify your goals and decide your actions together with the people who will be supporting you to achieve them.
  • Step 3 Your family’s plan: Your family’s plan of support will say who is going to do what and when, including the things you and your family can do to help yourselves.
  • Step 4 Review: Your plan will be regularly reviewed to make sure it is working or if anything needs to change. Support will continue until your family feels resilient enough to manage your issues on your own.

Getting help

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.