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Prevention and early help for children, young people and families

We know we have more chance of helping children, young people and families if we identify their problems swiftly and intervene early to support them.

Our vision is that people who need early help services will receive them in a timely and responsive way so that their educational, social and emotional needs are met.

Read our strategy and guidance documents

Use the pathway to early help tool to assess their needs

If you work with a child, young person or family and think they would benefit from early help, use the 'pathway to early help tool' to record your assessment of their needs.

Make sure you obtain and record their agreement before you begin this process and before you share the information gathered with other agencies.

Download the pathway to early help tool

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.

Make a referral for early help

You should only make a referral if you establish that their needs cannot be met by services from within your own agency or by other professionals already known to them, for example a children's centre or school.

Use the online form to upload your completed pathway to early help tool.

Upload a completed pathway to early help tool

After we've received your referral

We'll carry out fact finding and information sharing to help inform a decision about who is best placed to provide on-going support to the child, young person or their family.

This includes gathering relevant information from Children's Services systems, referrers and sometimes children, young people and families.

Get extra help and advice

If you're not sure about the needs of the child or young person or whether you should make a referral, you can call our early help consultation line which is available 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

You can also find out more information to help you identify appropriate and timely interventions on the Families Information Service (FIS) online preventions directory.