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Early help

Family Solutions is aimed at helping families who are experiencing a range of issues on a voluntary basis for up to 12 months by providing intensive contact through a dedicated liaison officer in the early stages of support, which reduces over time as they become more confident at addressing their problems.
Family Solutions will work with families who have two or more of the following difficulties described as Intensive in the Effective Support for Children and Families in Essex Guidance:
  • Families with no member in work
  • Families with significant non-school attendance (for whatever reason)
  • Families with members involved in crime or anti-social behaviour
  • Families affected by domestic violence
  • Families living with drug and alcohol misuse
  • Families where children are in need and were open to social care
  • Families where children exhibit significant behavioural difficulties
  • Families facing eviction or with significant rent arrears or neighbour disputes
  • Families with one or more member of the household with (tier 2) mental health needs

Support for Disabled Children and Young People

For information and guidance on Support for Disabled Children and Young People in Essex please click here

Early Help Plan

Where the problems or needs are more complex, practitioners should consider completing an Early Help Plan (EHP) with the family. An Early Help Plan is a tool to use with the family to discuss and record the needs, strengths, goals and views that they identify, leading to a plan to support them. There are many different types of early help planning tools. An early help template can be found at the back of this booklet. Alternatively, practitioners may choose to use or amend assessment and planning tools from within their own agency.

Where there is more than one service working alongside a child and family, it is helpful for the family and involved services to hold a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting, to share information and co-ordinate an Early Help Plan together. A completed Early Help Plan remains the responsibility of the supporting agency/service to retain, in accordance with their own record keeping procedures.

A Early Help Plan should be registered on the shared database administered by the Children & Families Hub.

Registering a Early Help Plan 

An Early Help Plan can be used by any professional to help them in capturing the needs of the family and identifying strategies to help families make changes to improve their lives.

Professionals if they wish to, can register the Early Help Plan or Team Around the Family Meeting by first obtaining consent from the family to register it. The professional will then need to register the Plan by completing the form below and sending it securely to the Children & Family Hub following the guidance document and completing the registration form below:

Early Help Plan

Early Help Plan Registration Form









Partnership Working

From Local Authorities to schools and voluntary and community sector groups, there are a number of public service partners across Essex that connect with the Family Solutions team to provide support to those in need.

Family Solutions works with people that may not yet be known to public services, putting them in touch with services that can provide the support they need to problem solve and prevent some issues from arising or escalating.