Skip to content

Early Help

Early Help information

How to make a request for early help support

For targeted Level 3 support from a Family Intervention Worker or a Youth Intervention Worker, you should complete the Request for support online form. An Early Help Assessment and Plan must already be in place before level 3 support can be requested.

For any other support, please complete the Early Help Triage Request form and send to Locality mailboxes (see below) – triage meetings will continue for support at this level.

You can read the Levels of Need tool and indicators, or find out more about the new Request for support form and helpful hints on completing a request.

What is Early Help?

Early Help is an integral part of everyone’s role.

It is the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families when they need extra support to thrive.

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

The aim is to identify and build on a family’s strengths to help them resolve their own difficulties and support them to develop skills to prevent further problems and better manage any future challenges.

You can find our full Early Help strategy here, or check out the following sources for further information:

  • A One Minute Guide to Early Help in Devon
  • Early Help Journey – Flowchart
  • Early Help in Devon Leaflet (To print we recommend you change your print settings to bind on the short edge. This is may show as ‘Flip’ in your printer settings). This leaflet was designed for printing purposes only, and with that in mind will not be fully accessible to someone using assistive technology such as a screen reader.
  • Early Help in Devon Leaflet is also available in the languages listed in the table below, please select the language you need, and download a copy to use. (Please note that we are expecting the Early Help leaflet to be redesigned soon, at that time we will add Bulgarian to the translations available)
  • Please contact the Right for Children Mailbox if you need the leaflet in a different form, or translated into another language.
  • For the Early Help Consent Form, please see the Resources page of this website.

The principles of Early Help

  • Always do something – at the very least, talk to another practitioner to explore a way forward.
  • If you think a family needs help, you need to act quickly before the situation or problem worsens.
  • If a family approaches you for help, you need to respond promptly and begin to assess their need and identify how support should be provided.
  • A family must give their consent for Early Help before information can be shared across agencies via the Right for Children system.
  • Conversations, meetings, assessments and plans should be purposeful and lead to actions to improve outcomes for the family.
  • The family are central to the Early Help process and should be involved throughout the assessment, plan and subsequent reviews.
  • All communication and decision making should be shared, both with the other practitioners involved and with the family. Nobody should be working in isolation.
  • Once a family’s situation has improved and been sustained for an agreed period, support services should reduce or end to enable the family to be independent.
  • If Early Help isn’t working, conversations may become challenging. If an agreement cannot be reached, practitioners should refer to the dispute resolution process and seek support from their own agency.

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.