Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan
A new Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan have been developed by partners, children, young people, parents and carers which will help families get support they need at the earliest opportunity.
The Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan has replaced what was the ‘Single Assessment’ and are much more streamlined, family friendly and signs of safety/wellbeing focussed. These can be accessed through the Children’s Services Portal.
You are requested to submit an Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan, with family consent, when:
- You are the lead worker for a child and family and have drawn on support from external services in a Team Around the Family (TAF) arrangement
- You are requesting ‘additional’ Early Help as the Child and Family Plan and TAF arrangements you have in place are not meeting the needs of the family.
- You are requesting (additional) early help as you are worried about a child and family and feel unable to support them (this could include an offer of intensive family support where needs are more complex).
X You DO NOT need to submit and Early Help Assessment or Child and Family Plan if you are supporting a family with the ‘earliest’ of help drawing only on your internal resources which are meeting the family’s needs. You are however welcome to use the Assessment and Plan but we do not require you to submit it.
The benefits in using and submitting the Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan/Reviews through the Liquid Logic Portal are:
- They will evidence the volume and quality of early help provided to children and families across the Early Help System which is a new government requirement placed on Local Authorities and its partners
- The same Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan can also be used to ‘request (additional) early help’ without the need to complete another request form (if the last submission was in the last 12 weeks)
- Enable us, as an early help system, to better understand and celebrate the outcomes achieved by families with partner support
- We will have all information in one place to understand the holistic needs of a family, what support has been offered and what works/does not work. This will help inform decision making of appropriate offers of support and will also consider cumulative harm
- Enable professionals who share worries about families to be better connected e.g. Early Help Triage Team will be able to identify if an ‘active’ Early Help Assessment/TAF is in place by a partner and share the lead worker’s details with you
- We will be able to provide support to partners when they may be stuck and require additional help in reviewing Child and Family Plans/TAF arrangements using our Early Help Advisor Team
- Allow you to easily update/review the Child and Family Plan
- Provide a record of the Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plans you are leading on and have submitted so you can save to your own systems
A number of supporting materials are available to support you in completing and submitting Early Help Assessments and Child and Family Plans which have been developed by partners:
- Early Help in County Durham Animation (produced with children, young people, parents and carers simply explaining generally about Early Help in County Durham which you can share with families)
- Early Help Assessment Pathway
- Early Help Assessment Guidance
- Examples of Worry Statements, Wellbeing Goals and Scaling Questions (in addition to those in the Early Help Assessment Guidance)
- What Does Good Look Like? (a guide to what partners believe should be the consistent benchmark for us all to work to)
- Privacy Notice
- Family Friendly Privacy Notice Video can be found at the following link https://youtu.be/E5B77FW97DI (opens in YouTube - you can share with families to help explain what we will do with their information)
- Data Sharing Agreement (partner organisations have signed up to this)
- Data Protection Impact Assessment (FYI) (Not yet Available For Download)
- A recording of the Staff Briefings held in March 2022 can be found at the following link https://youtu.be/aCuVM3Jp43A (open in chrome) and the presentation slides providing detail of local, national drivers, context and more detail of what this means for you can be found here. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were compiled from all 16 Staff Briefings of which over 700 practitioners attended, click here to see the responses.
- Children Services Portal Toolkit which includes the following guides:
- Partners creating an account on the Children Services portal (you will need to create an account to be able to submit Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plans, you will only need to do this once using your personal, professional contact details)
- Partners logging into the Children Services portal
- Partners submitting a Review Child and Family Plan on the Childrens Services portal (How to convert a PDF version of the Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plans into a Microsoft Word format to enable you to easily update),
- Partners submitting an Early Help Assessment on the Children Services portal
- Video on how to complete the Early Help Assessment and Child and Family Plan/Reviews on Liquidlogic (Not available for Download yet)
If at any time partners require support, please contact the Early Help Advisor Team and/or contact the Early Help Triage Team – 03000 267 979, Option 1, then Option 2, then Option 4, (Mon – Thurs 08.30 – 17.00, Fri 08.30 – 16.30)