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1.2 Early help

Providing ‘early help’ is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting when problems become more serious. This help may be needed at any point in a child’s life, from early to teenage years.

All professionals, particularly those in universal services, should be alert to signs that a child may require early help. This may include a child who:

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs
  • has special educational needs
  • is a young carer
  • is showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems and domestic violence
  • has returned home to their family from care
  • is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.

If a professional identifies a need for early help, they have a responsibility to share that information and work together with other agencies to provide children with the support they need. Indeed, effective early help relies upon local agencies working together to:

  • identify children and families who would benefit from early help
  • assess the need for early help, and
  • provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family in order to improve outcomes for the child.

Further guidance is available in the thresholds/level of need criteria guidance in Section 3 of these procedures. These explain the inter-agency processes for early help assessments and the type of early help services provided in the wider West Midlands area.

This page is correct as printed on Thursday 25th of April 2019 09:16:33 PM please refer back to this website ( for updates.