Early help

Early Help

What we do and how we can help?

The Early Help and Coordination Team (EHC) support partners and professionals who complete and lead an Early Help Assessment (EHA). This makes sure that a wide range of professionals, from a broad range of agencies are trained and up-skilled to support families within the Early Help offer.

We provide case consultancy to support practitioners involved in complex cases. A complex case is one in which more than one agency is involved and it has been demonstrated via the Early Help Assessment and reviews that the interventions which have been tried to date have not worked. In such cases EHC offer troubleshooting advice and identify whether further support is required.

To find out more about local resources and services available to North Tyneside families please visit Living Well North Tyneside - http://www.livingwellnorthtyneside.co.uk

We monitor the quality of Early Help Assessments (EHAs), action plans and reviews and provide support to practitioners if required to ensure they are completed correctly and robustly. EHA training can be accessed via the Learning Pool; we also offer bespoke training to individuals or whole teams should this be required.

We monitor service delivery and the implementation of the EHA against timescales and quality standards. This will include audit activity on behalf of the local authority and partners. Where timescales and quality standards are not being met we will contact the lead of the EHA to request copies of outstanding paperwork, and offer advice and support if this is required.

North Tyneside Safeguarding Children Partnership (NTSCP) is a useful resource to support you to safeguard the welfare of the children and young people in our borough. The NTSCP website brings together information for children, young people and their families, as well as the practitioners who work with them - http://www.northtynesidescp.org.uk

The Early Help Assessment (EHA)

If you believe a family needs some additional help and support, it is important that you and the family you are supporting complete an Early Help Assessment (EHA) together.

The purpose of EHA is a whole family assessment which helps determine the needs of all family members and therefore, what is required to help the family meet those needs.

The EHA is not about form filling; it is about having a meaningful conversation with a family about their strengths and challenges, working out what they need and pulling together the right people to provide support - a Team Around the Family (TAF).

The EHA is an assessment tool and as such it is not about making referrals or requests for additional services. The TAF approach is one where professionals come together around a family to create a single SMART action plan to which the family and all professionals contribute and help to identify who else might be able to provide advice and support. The EHA should not be used to pass families onto another team.

An EHA is not required if there is already a higher-level assessment in place led by a social worker; or if the family’s needs are being supported by universal services.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

An EHA may be suggested for families whose children need additional support.

As detailed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years, "Partners should consider how they will work to align support delivered through mechanisms such as the Early Help Assessment and how SEN support in schools can be aligned both strategically and operationally."

Child Protection procedures

The EHA doesn't replace standard child protection procedures which safeguard children from significant harm.

If you have concerns about a child being potentially at risk of significant harm, they must be escalated to:

Children's Services - Front Door
Telephone: 0345 2000 109
Email: childrenandadultscontactcentre@northtyneside.gov.uk 

Return an Early Help Assessment form

Return a completed and signed Early Help Assessment form in line with your organisation's own information governance arrangements to:

Early help and coordination
North Tyneside Council
Cobalt Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE27 0BY

Email: earlyhelpassessments@northtyneside.gov.uk

What happens next?

Once we receive your Early Help Assessment it will be logged on the central database. If you have any questions relating to the completed EHA and/or supporting the family’s needs throughout the lifespan of the Team Around the Family (TAF) please contact the Early Help Coordination Team.

The TAF should continue to work with the family as agreed in the action plan, holding review TAF meetings 6-weekly until the EHA is closed as successful outcomes have been achieved.

The Team Around the Family (TAF)

TAF meetings are an essential part of the Early Help process.

Key elements of a good meeting are:

  • The right people around the table - the family and professionals supporting the family
  • A discussion about the needs of the family and how they can be supported
  • All people have a chance to speak and are listened to
  • A location and time to accommodate the family’s routine
  • Enough time for the discussion to take place
  • An action plan, written and agreed by all parties which clearly shows who will do what, and by when


The meeting is normally organised and chaired by the main person (the lead worker) supporting the family; for example a:

  • Teacher
  • Health visitor
  • Family partner
  • Youth worker
  • School nurse

To help lead workers with this process please see copies of template documents below.

Related documents

Contact us

Early Help and Coordination Team
Telephone: (0191) 643 8178
Email: earlyhelpassessments@northtyneside.gov.uk