Early Help Assessment

The Early Help Assessment, referred to as 'Your Family's' Early Help Assessment' is a tool we use to support our work with families. It is designed to help us work with them to identify their needs and plan appropriate responses.

To complete an assessment we talk with all members of the family to gather, explore and analyse with them, information about all aspects of their life. We then identify areas where changes will address support needs and positively impact on their lived experiences.

This is recorded on an Early Help Assessment form which includes the family's Early Help Plan.

The Early Help Assessment is not a referral form for professionals to complete to access other services supporting children, young people and families. The Early Help Assessment should be completed by the professional supporting the family to identify the family's unmet needs and develop a plan of support with the family.

Your Family's Early Help Assessment is available to all practitioners and professionals working with children, young people, and their families across Lancashire.

Working alongside families from a holistic, strength-based approach when areas of support are first identified will stop escalation towards crisis and the need for more intensive and specialist intervention.

Through the Early Help Assessment, Plan, and reviews via Team Around the Family meetings, the wider partnership of services can provide families with the right support at the right time. 

Starting or closing support

Where support is starting or closing with a family, it is key that the appropriate form is used by Lead Professionals, and a copy is sent to the eha@lancashire.gov.uk mailbox team so we can update our records.

Please don’t complete any of the below forms without emailing the team a copy.

Where the support is closing with a family after a final Team Around the Family meeting, section "H: Moving On (Please complete if this is the final Meeting)" needs to be completed along with the "Closure Reason" section.

Where a family's support is closing where a final Team Around the Family meeting is not taking place you must email the EHA mailbox team the following information:

  • Family Name and URN numbers,
  • Date of Closure,
  • Lead Professional at the time of closure,
  • Closure Reason (All Needs Met, Child/ YP Deceased, Consent Withdrawn, Family Moved to Another Authority Area, Stepped Up to Children Social Care or Disengaged with Support),

This enables the mailbox team to update the families record so we have the most up to date information for the family.

Training and e-learning

See the Early Help training page for details of any Early Help Assessment training currently available to book.

The Early Help Assessment and Plan e-learning course is available via the Astute e-learning system. Please note this course is best viewed on a laptop rather than a mobile device.

Early Help Assessment forms

Please don’t save a local copy of the below forms/guidance as a template. Each time an Early Help Assessment form needs to be accessed please access them by the below link as the forms below are subject to regular reviews and updates.

Please ensure when completing each of the below forms a copy is emailed to the EHA team using the new email address eha@lancashire.gov.uk along with any updates.

Early Help Assessment - Section E - family radar

The Early Help Assessment and Plan features a family radar. The family radar is linked to the cycle of change and will help you to identify which areas of support the family need the most. By completing a family radar, we are trying to get the families you work with to understand at what point of the cycle of change they are at.

The below documents are more visual to help families and professionals complete the family radar. The documents should be completed with families and then the score and narrative inputted into Section E of the Early Help Assessment..

Early Help Plan - Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting

A Team Around the Family (TAF) is a meeting between a child, young person, their family and the group of practitioners who are working with them.

The purpose of the TAF meeting is to share information and to create a solution focussed plan that will support the needs of the child and their family. The meeting provides an opportunity to consider how appropriate, effective and timely support can be secured enabling family’s needs to be met.

The focus of the meeting is to build on the strengths identified within the Early Help assessment whilst addressing the current worries/concerns. A TAF meeting is an opportunity for families to work together with professionals to gain confidence and skills to develop their family/friend networks to ensure future support is effective and sustainable.

TAF meetings should always be solution-focused and build on the families’ strengths to promote positive change.

Key principles of TAF meetings:

  • The child/young person’s needs and rights are paramount
  • The child/young person and family should be present at the TAF meeting (if it is deemed appropriate for the child/young person to attend).
  • The parents/carers views must be considered.
  • Meetings follow the same format; templates are provided so plans are clear, understandable and provide consistency.
  • The child/young person’s safety, welfare and well-being are everyone’s responsibility.
  • A TAF meeting needs to be helpful, timed to suit the family and only as long as it needs to be.
  • Those professionals/practitioners who are already or likely to be a part of the ‘personalised package of support’ should be present.

Related guidance


Email: eha@lancashire.gov.uk