What is Early Help?

The term Early Help is used to describe the process of taking action early and as soon as possible to tackle problems and issues emerging for children, young people and their families.

Effective help may be needed at any point in a child or young person’s life.

Working Together 2018 places a statutory responsibility on the safeguarding partners and other local organisations and agencies to work together to:

  • identify children and families who would benefit from early help
  • undertake an assessment of the need for early help
  • provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child

The intent of the Children’s MARS arrangements includes to:

  • co-produce with children, young people and families using their strengths and assets to develop services to meet their individual needs
  • make children’s safeguarding personal and swift so they remain in families, in school
  • build children, young people and families resilience

The provision of early help services should form part of a continuum of support to respond to the different levels of need of individual children and families.

The Helping Children and Families (Threshold Document 2016/2020) describes the organisational model across five levels of need in North Lincolnshire.

We agree to offer early help at the earliest point and lowest level of service required to improve outcomes for children.

Local principles of early help include:

  • supporting children and families to find their own solutions and help them build support networks within the community
  • working with the views and experience of the child and family, being solution focused and building on the strengths of the child and family so that they can be independent of services
  • being clear in our work with children and families about the intended outcomes and how to achieve these

The procedures to support a child and family through early help, the Early Help Assessment and Early Help Plan are in the Children’s MARS Board Policy and Procedure – Assessing Need and Providing Help. It also outlines procedures on information sharing, making a referral and child protection conferences.

To submit an Early Help Assessment front sheet complete the online Early Help Assessment form front sheet.

The following forms and guidance are available to download from the CMARS website:

  • Early Help Assessment Form
  • Early Help Assessment Form Practitioner Guidance
  • Early Help Assessment: A guide for children, young people and their families
  • Early Help Assessment Quality Assurance
  • Early Help Assessment Review
  • Process for completing an Early Help Assessment
  • Early Help Users View Form


Safeguarding Partners Multi-Agency Innovation Team

Hewson House
Station Road
DN20 8XB

Tel: 01724 297240

Email: mars@northlincs.gov.uk

Further information

Children’s Multi Agency Resilience and Safeguarding Board (CMARS)

Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)

Last modified: February 11, 2019