The role of the Early Help lead practitioner

Where an agency working with a family identifies additional support that is needed that their agency can deliver under Early Help, they should initially use their own internal processes for doing so. Sometimes, it is helpful for them to use an Early Help Plan to identify how they will support the particular needs of the family.

Vulnerable children and young people whose needs are more complex and where more than one service are involved benefit from an Early Help Assessment, Plan and Lead Professional to coordinate support for the family.

A lead practitioner should undertake the assessment, provide help to the child and family, act as an advocate on their behalf and coordinate the delivery of support services. A GP, family support worker, school nurse, teacher, health visitor and/or special educational needs coordinator could undertake the lead practitioner role.

Where the family needs other services to support them, the agency must seek consent from the family and then contact can either be made directly to the other agency or advice can be sought from the Early Help Hub.

Parents should always provide consent for any request for support. In the spirit of openness and respect it is important that we ask young people who demonstrate understanding and competency, to also give their consent.

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 meeting with the family, to share information and coordinate an Early Help Plan together.