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Early Help

What makes a good Early Help plan?

A family’s plan of support should clearly state who is going to do what and when, including the things the family can do to help themselves.

The approach should be family-led, and must include the voices of the children, young people, parents and carers.

It is important that the family identify their goals and decide their actions together with the people who will be supporting them.

  • Make sure the plan is SMART – specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and with timescales.
  • It should include ALL areas of need identified in the Early Help Assessment.
  • The strengths of family members should be included too.
  • Actions must be clearly recorded, with who is responsible for achieving them and realistic timescales.
  • The plan must map progress with clear links to the worry scale.
  • Reasons for non-progress/ goal achievement should be highlighted.
  • The roles of each practitioner involved should be clear.
  • The family must be confident that the plan is shared with relevant professionals.
  • Remember to ask the family if there is anyone else they wish to be involved.
  • The plan must be clear and concise, with no duplication, and easy for the whole family to understand.
  • Needs and risks must be clearly identified to inform coordinated support and intervention.
  • The plan must be regularly reviewed to make sure it is working or if anything needs to change. Support will continue until the family feels resilient enough to manage their issues on their own.
  • The Lead Practitioner should drive the plan forward and be focussed on reaching the best outcomes for the family.

Key things to remember:

• All family members should contribute to the plan.
• All agencies and services involved must be listed on the plan.
• All practitioners involved in the plan must be able to access the Right for Children system.
• All relevant documents must be uploaded to the Right for Children system (with consent).
• Arrange, agree and record the next review date before the end of the meeting.


How do I request support for the family from other services?

You can approach them directly if you know which service is required. They should be registered to use the Right for Children system so they can fully engage with the Early Help assessment and plan.

If the family require targeted services such as Family Intervention or Youth Intervention Teams, or if you are unsure what service can meet their needs, then you should complete an Early Help Triage Request form

What if the family need to access additional targeted support?

If the Early Help assessment identifies that the family has a need that cannot be met through the existing services involved in the Team Around the Family, you will need to submit a ‘Early Help Triage Request’ form to access additional targeted support.

This can only be done once the Early Help Assessment has been completed on the Right for Children system, and ideally after a Team Around the Family meeting.

Include as much information as possible as any gaps may lead to delays or the request being returned.

Triage Request forms are discussed by multi-agency partners at weekly Early Help Triage meetings held in each of the four localities (North, South, East/Mid and Exeter) The triage team will consider the service requests and make suggestions for support options as appropriate.

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.