Early Help

In Early Help, we recognise the crucial role that all family members and professionals can play when families face difficulties and that this can impact a child or young person's experiences and achievements. Our teams provide intense, focused support when problems first emerge. The right Early Help service at the right time can reduce or prevent specific problems from getting worse or becoming deep seated or entrenched.

The Early Help Assessment form will help practitioners assess needs at an early stage and enable them to work with children, young people and families together with other professionals and agencies to best meet these needs.

Make a request for Early Help support

We work with families who need some support, but who do not qualify for direct social care support. We can quickly build a support package tailored to the family's needs.

Professionals and families can make a request for support direct to the Council's Early Help Team. A request for support form needs to be completed in all instances where support from Early Help is being requested.

Complete a referral form

If you are a professional, requesting support on behalf of a parent or carer, by submitting this request, you confirm that a conversation has been had with the young person/parent/carer and that they are agreeable to the request for support.

You may also need or be asked to fill in an Early Help Assessment form. For guidance contact the Early Help Triage Team.

Complete an Early Help Assessment

Download Early Help Assessment guidance

Contact Early Help Triage Team on 01709 334905

Early Help Assessment Tool

Rotherham uses the Early Help Assessment Tool to ensure a co-ordinated and integrated approach to support children and their families below statutory thresholds. The Early Help Assessment incorporates the Lead Professional and the Team Around the Family (TAF) process.

All services that work with children, young people and their families; whether in the council, community or voluntary sectors should use the same method for assessing and understanding children and families' needs so that we embed consistent approaches. This approach supports integrated working and reduces duplication whilst enabling effective, intelligent information sharing.

The underlying principles of the Early Help Assessment are:

  • Holistic family focused approach with the child's needs paramount
  • Takes account of strengths and protective factors as well as needs
  • Simple to use
  • Empowering for professionals and children/families
  • Enables pertinent information held by agencies to ensure that concerns do not become invisible
  • The child's needs must come first
  • The child's welfare is everyone's responsibility
  • All organisations must work together for the benefit of the child and vulnerable adults
  • The parents'/carers' rights must be considered and inform the process

When to do an Early Help Assessment:

The majority of children thrive without additional support and through receipt of universal services such as schools, GP's etc.; however, If you have concerns about a child and family that leads you to think that there are additional needs and that they may require some support to address issues that they are experiencing, it is a good idea to speak to the family about support through the Early Help Assessment.

This will allow you to document your understanding of the needs and explore the needs of the child and family in more depth, to establish what type of support the family require to improve their circumstances. The Early Help Assessment is a multi-agency assessment tool that can be supported by a range of professionals to best understand and meet the needs of children and families.

Children and families should 'own' the process and feel that they are steering the assessment and plan and that their voice is heard throughout the process. Completing an Early Help Assessment does not mean that you are left to support the family on your own, in consultation with parents and carers, you can bring in relevant professionals to support the plan appropriately.

It is important that the Early Help Assessment has signed consent and that it is shared centrally via the following email address:

Email: earlyhelp-admin@rotherham.gov.uk

This enables the intelligent, proportionate sharing of information and allows the council and partners to update lead professionals when new concerns are raised about a child or family. This stops the likelihood of concerns about children being invisible.

Children Missing from Education

The Early Help & Family Engagement Service is committed to ensuring that all children living in Rotherham are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Our Children Missing from Education Policy sets out how the Local Authority and partner agencies will ensure that all children missing from, or at risk of going missing from education are identified, tracked, monitored and supported.

Download the policy