Understanding Early Help

What services form part of the Early Help system?

Early Help systems available to children and their families are made up of three types of services:

  • universal services
  • community support
  • acute and targeted services

These services combine in different ways to form a local area Early Help offer.

Universal services include:

  • school nurses
  • GP surgeries
  • health visitors
  • maternity services
  • community coordinators
  • post-16 education services
  • schools
  • nurseries
  • children’s centres
  • libraries.

Community support includes:

  • family and friends
  • local places and environments
  • online support services
  • voluntary, faith and community services
  • local members of the community and  local businesses.

Acute and targeted services include:

  • mental health services
  • speech and language services
  • Job Centre Plus
  • special educational needs services
  • community nursing
  • accident and emergency
  • departments in local hospitals
  • children’s social care
  • targeted family support services
  • alternative educational provision
  • housing and homelessness support services
  • prison and probation providers
  • alcohol and substance misuse services
  • fire and rescue services
  • youth offending and youth services
  • family court and family court advisory services.

What is a Targeted Early Help Assessment (EHA)?

There are many different services that make up the Early Help system. Sometimes, a family or professional may decide that further intervention is required and may offer or talk to you about an EHA. The assessment can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support. The EHA will ensure that everyone involved with your child and family work together to support you. The EHA will help your family receive the right support at an early stage before needs increase. As the EHA is a shared assessment, your family will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.

Find out more about Targeted Early Help

What is the Supporting Families Programme (SFP)?

SFP is a key part of the Early Help offer of services. It's designed to reduce or prevent specific problems from getting worse.

Find our more about the Supporting Families Programme