When a child/young person/family needs something extra, Early Help is the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families. This builds an understanding to address extra needs and prevent situations from getting more difficult for children and young people. The aim of Early Help is to build on people’s capacity and resources to manage their own dilemmas, resolve their own difficulties and prevent further problems in the future. Early Help is not a designated team it is the way that EVERYONE works together to support the needs of families.
In Devon, the early help system is made up of service users, community resources, universal service providers and targeted services working together to enable families to manage their own dilemmas and solve their own problems, making whatever changes are necessary to secure the well-being of their children, enabling appropriate risk management in the community and a proportionate response to risk and need. The Devon Early Help Assessment is a tool used by all partners in Devon to assess the Early Help needs of a family and individual family members. It is a multi-agency gathering of information in order that any additional needs within a family can be understood and the process of providing or accessing support can begin. This will mean that the family and everyone involved can make a plan to provide that support. Part of that process may include a Team Around The Family (TAF) meeting taking place, with the family to discuss the help they need and who will provide it. If at any point in the process, a child or young person is considered to be at risk of significant and immediate harm, a direct referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or a call to the Police may be necessary. Read more about the Early Help offer in Devon below:
The Request for Additional Service (RfAS) can be used to access targeted support for families, where unmet need has been identified through assessment, such as the Early Help Assessment Tool located within the Right for Children IT system. The RfAS are discussed at regular early help triage meetings held in localities across Devon. Please note we can only accept a RfAS where an early help assessment for families has been started on Right for Children, unless the needs of the family override this.
If you require support and assistance in offering children and families Early Help, please consult the following tool:
‘Right for Children’, the new Early Help IT system is now live. The system replaces the previous ‘Holistix’ system, and will see the introduction of more streamlined Early Help assessment and planning tools.
Please direct all questions related to the Right for Children IT System to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a list of ‘Right for Children’ awareness sessions, please click here.
In each of the four localities – Northern, Exeter, East and Mid, and Southern – there are Early Help Hubs, where the Early Help Locality Officers, Family Intervention Teams, Youth Intervention teams and REACH workers are based. Early Help support and advice can be provided through the Early Help Hubs this includes:- >Providing support and advice to practitioners about how they complete the Early Help assessment, plan and review and the Early Help IT platform –‘Right For Children.’ >Signposting professionals and families to local services and support >Supporting the identification of a lead practitioner >Regular Early Help Triage Meetings You can contact the Early Help Hubs via the following email addresses:-
Exeter Children and Families Locality Partnership (previously known as Exeter Locality Alliance)
Locality Partnership – Meeting Dates – 2018/19
Early Help Practitioner Forum (2018/19) – Meeting dates 2018/19
Mid & East Children and Families Locality Partnership (previously known as Mid & East Devon Locality Alliance)
Locality Partnership – Info & Meeting Dates
Early Help Practitioner Forums
North Devon & Torridge Children and Families Locality Partnership (previously know as North Devon & Torridge Locality Alliance)
Locality Partnership – Meeting Dates
Early Help Practitioner Forums 2018 – Meeting dates
South & West Children and Families Locality Partnership (previously known as South & West Devon Locality Alliance)
Locality Partnership – Meeting Dates
Early Help Practitioner Forums 2018 – Meeting dates April 2018 – March 2019