We believe that children and families need to be heard when they first ask for help to minimise adverse experiences for them. For many children and families, their needs will be met through services available within their everyday routines such as Schools or Children’s Centres, GPs or Youth Centres and projects. These services can be accessed directly, without a referral. A large range of services to support and advise can be found by visiting the torbaydirectory your family.

When the level of need is more complex and involves two or three needs that require several services to work together, then an Early Help assessment form should be completed and submitted to the Early Help Service.

  Download an Early Help Assessment form

Early Help Assessment form (Example)
Example of the Early Help Assessment form to assist those who are completing to ensure information is recorded correctly.

The Early Help Service guides and assists children and families and professionals through the process of getting the right help to meet need. The Early Help Co-ordinator and team screens all referrals and ensures that Early Help is the right level of support to offer. Information on thresholds and levels of need can be found in The Child's Journey document, and a brief Pathway for Early Help Service is also available as a guide to referral. Where a child appears to be at risk, the referral will go directly to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 208100.

Referrals may be directly allocated to a service, or may go to our Early Help Panel. This uses the knowledge and experience of a range of services to decide which service should take the lead on the case, and deciding who will make contact with the family to arrange a Team Around the Family meeting. At this meeting, all relevant people and services will work together to draw up a Single Plan.

Early Help training is currently available to professionals working with children, young people and/or families, including those working in the community and voluntary sector you can find this at Torbay Safeguarding Children Board Opens in a new window.

To get advice and information and to check whether an Early Help Referral is already in place for a child please contact us.

Early Help Strategy 2014-17
The Early Help Strategy is a key element in Torbay’s commitment to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Early Help Pathway
A brief pathway for Early Help Service.
Terms of Reference
The Early Help Panel is designed to act as a single point of service allocation to children, young people and families in Torbay where additional needs are identified and it's not deemed that statutory social care intervention is required.
Torbay's Early Help Offer
The Early Help Service guides and assists children and families and professionals through the process of getting the right help to meet need.
TAF - Meeting Record
A record for Team Around the Family meetings.
TAF - Guidance
Document providing guidance for Team Around the Family professionals.