Early Help Family Support Plan


As an authority Bury provides a range of universal services for all our children, young people and their families to access.

Bury's "Continuum of Need and Thresholds" helps to give practitioners a visual guide of where Bury children are supported through universal services at a voluntary level with either a single agency or multi agency approach, through to the statutory levels and services:

  • Level 1 - represents children with no identified additional needs. Their needs are met through universal services.
    Universal services are where we would like all children to be: accessing universal services such as school, GP and dentist.
  • Level 2 - represents children with additional needs that can be met by targeted support by a single agency or practitioner e.g. SALT, school or Children Centre Outreach. A parent or age appropriate child can ask for an EHFSP to be completed or can be suggested to the family/age appropriate child by a professional involved with them.
  • Level 3 - represents children with additional needs that can be met by targeted support by a Multi-agency Support Package (Team around the Family).
  • Multi-agency responses - Early Help Family Support Plan, following an agreed identified plan of action TAF Meetings take place. Not statutory but is a voluntary process where consent is required from a person with parental responsibility. (Failing TAF plans can be sent, attached to an Inter Agency Form, for consideration at the Early Help Panel for a more targeted response).
  • Level 4 - represents children with significant needs that persist and have not been met by targeted support, such as the Early Help Family Support Plan CIN.
    This is now Statutory Intervention and an assessment would be completed and led by a social worker.
  • Level 5 - represents children with complex and enduring needs at the highest level of vulnerability that will be met by multi-agency support from specialist services led by Social Care (Safeguarding / Looked after Children).

The pathway to access Team Oasis considers the Early Help Family Support Plan, which replaces the CAF as a pre-requisite.

The completion of the EHFSP requires an integrated approach with the child/young person and their family alongside all of the universal services that are currently involved with the child / young person and their family and with the focus being around the child / young person needs in order to explore if there is any prominent family or environmental risk factors.

The benefit of this integrated approach helps to avoid duplication, ensures full disclosure of all concerns and to maximize outcomes for children/young person and their families. It should help guide and support all involved to determine and signpost to the best provision and use of the services available to support the child/young person and family.

The EHFSP is a choice available to the family to help them, with universal support, to feel empowered and to be more self reliant in finding their own solutions to the problems and support needs they have identified within their families.

It should be completed with the family with the assistance of an identified professional from universal services in order to help identify community services, including local private or voluntary sectors, as well as any specialist universal services, that can support the family and professionals involved to focus on prevention and early intervention to help prevent referrals to statutory services from Children's Social Care.

By families asking and choosing to work together with universal and voluntary services outcomes should improve, as the support requested is what families have identified as being most relevant and needed for their individual situation, each families plan is bespoke, so maximizing the outcomes for every family.

The achievements for each plan won't always be easy and positive outcomes may take some time to achieve, this is why regular reviews for multi-agency support is required to ensure the support being provided is always the best for the family and that the family are being promoted to develop and become more self reliant and empowered in identifying and implementing their own solutions.

Multi agency support can be in place for as long as the family requires it, as long as achievements and improvements are being evidenced in the reviews, until the point of closure, all needs met and signpost to universal services, Level 1 Support.

Where single agency support is identified and offered, a review would be required to establish if the family's needs have been met or not and if not met return to the EHFSP to look if a multi agency approach is now required.

Guidance / Supporting documents

Examples of completed documents

Contact for Early Help Consultants - Team Oasis