Early Help

parents with a baby in the park

When is an Early Help Assessment needed?

If you are working with a family and identify they would benefit from support from a range of services, Early Help is a great way of taking a co-ordinated, robust and well-planned approach to promote sustained and positive changes to family life.

An Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a way of supporting both children and parents/carers; it considers the whole family and takes a strength-based approach to support to build on what is working well to enable families to feel increased resilience and better able to sustain positive changes into the future.

You can download the Early Help assessment form here.

An interagency referral form will be required before submitting the EHA, downloadable form here Worried About A Child : Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children Partnership .

You can share this leaflet with parents to explain the process: Early Help Assessment Leaflet

The most effective way to complete an EHA is to listen to the family to find out what is going well and what their worries are. It’s important to clarify what services are already working with a family and which services may need to become involved to further support the needs identified.

The EHA is child-centered and looks at three areas of family life to ensure the whole family is considered throughout the process.

When completing an EHA it’s important to identify whether a referral into the Supporting Families Programme would be beneficial. This would allow the family up to 9 months of support with a family practitioner, visiting the family's homes and tailoring support to the family’s needs.

Please see here for more information about the Supporting families programme (iow.gov.uk)

Once the EHA has been completed the next step would be to arrange a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting within 4 weeks.

family sitting on the floor

What makes an effective Team around the family meeting?

The group of professionals from the relevant agencies and services who are working with or could provide support to the family are known collectively as the ‘Team Around the Family’ or TAF for short.

It’s important to consider who should attend the meeting; parents/carers should always attend if possible and children and young people should all be supported to fully engage in the process whether this is attending in person or having their thoughts shared on behalf of others, for example teachers and nursery staff.

Remember to check you have consent from parents/carers before sharing information with new professionals.

During the first TAF meeting a plan is produced to help the family achieve their goals and this plan is then reviewed on a regular basis (6-8 weeks) to make sure it is working or if anything needs to change.

Being open and transparent in the meeting about what is working well and what could be improved ensures expectations and goals are realistic and achievable. Discussions and decisions about the plan should be focused around the family’s needs and take a strength based approach.

Completing a detailed plan ensures it can be effectively reviewed to demonstrate and measure progress – don’t forget to fill in the Distance Travelled Tool!! Before the meeting ends it’s always a good idea to arrange and agree a date for the next meeting to ensure people have it written down in their busy schedules!


Newport Family Hub
PO30 2AX

01983 529208

Ryde Family Hub
George Street
PO33 2JF

01983 617617

Sandown Family Hub
The Fairway
PO36 9EQ

01983 408718



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