Early Help describes the range of support that can be offered in response to the emerging needs of children, young people and families.
When a child’s needs increase, more than one service may be required to meet their needs. “Early Help” is the name given to the way services work together, in a coordinated way, to support the child, young person and their family. If we do this well, fewer children will need to be supported by statutory services, such as children’s social care.
All practitioners, whichever organisation they work for, must be able to understand the threshold for each level of need and recognise the shift in a child, young person or family’s needs.
The Devon Threshold Tool adopts the continuum of need model which provides a multi-agency, whole system approach to assessment, prevention and interventions for children, young people and their families and directly supports the implementation of the Devon Assessment Framework (DAF), which all practitioners can initiate. The adoption of this model provides consistency for professionals working across different services and geographical areas. Watch the DSCB Threshold Tool training video here.
We have a single integrated system for assessing the needs of children, young people and their families, in Devon. Using the Devon Assessment Framework (DAF) workers are able to assess the needs of a child, young person or family and involve partner organisations or support services.
Used in connection with the Devon Threshold Tool, the needs of a child, young person or family can be clearly identified and the process of providing or accessing support services can begin. This may mean organising a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting with the child, young person and their family to discuss the help they need or a direct referral to the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if the situation is a Level 4 and the child is at significant risk of harm.
The purpose of the Early Help Coordination Centre (EHCC) is to provide support, advice and guidance, to assist practitioners involved with Early Help activity across Devon. This includes:
- Providing support and advice to practitioners about how they complete the DAF and the HolistiX IT system.
- Contacting agencies, where necessary, to identify a lead professional
- Signposting professionals and families to local services and support
The Early Help Advisors, based in locality areas, are able to provide support to partner agencies in their area to complete high quality assessments, which have clear, positive outcomes for children, young people and their families. It is important to note that the area based Early Help Advisors will not undertake the DAF or act as lead professional.
To contact the Early Help Coordination Centre
Call: 0345 155 1071 and ask for Early Help or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or FAX 01392 383614
Search for Early Help on the Devon Community Directory
Early Help Practitioners Toolkit
All available documents: Click on the document to download a copy.
If you have more questions or would like to speak to someone, you can contact the Early Help Coordination Centre on 0345 155 1071 or fax 01392 383614 or email email@example.com (secure email address).