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South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

1.2.1 Targeted Help


Early Help Strategy 2017


This chapter was updated in November 2017 with a new title ' Targeted Help', and should be read in its entirety.


  1. Early Help Professionals Consultation Line
  2. Targeted Help Pathway
  3. Targeted Help Panel 
  4. Targeted help Co-ordinator and Team around the Family

1. Early Help Professionals Consultation Line

Since 1st August 2017 the Early Help Consultation Line has been in operation. The line is designed to provide advice to professionals who think that they have a family in need of Early Help. The consultation line is manned by a duty Social Worker who is able to provide advice and signposting for services that might be of support to the families that you are working with.

The number to call is 01803 208525 and the line is open weekday mornings from 9am - 12pm.

2. Targeted Help Pathway

There are two pathways into targeted help. The first is when a family are stepped down from statutory intervention at level 4 to targeted help at level 3 (please refer to the Step up Step down process) and the second is through the MASH.

When the level of need is more complex and involves two or three needs that require several services to work together, then a Targeted Help Request for Service should be completed and submitted to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

The Early Help process guides and assists children and families and professionals so that they can get the right help to meet need. The MASH screens all referrals and ensures that Targeted Help is the right level of support to offer, and that there is enough information in the Request for Service. Information on thresholds and levels of need can be found in TSCB Threshold Document.

When completing a Targeted Help Request for Targeted Support assessment it’s critical that this is discussed with the family and consent is gained from the family prior to making the request.

If you are unsure of the level of need please contact the Consultation Line for advice.

3. Targeted Help Panel

Once a request for Targeted Support has been screened and reviewed by MASH. This will be passed to Targeted Help. The Targeted Help panel is a weekly multi-agency meeting which explores and discusses support requests. The aim of the panel is to make decisions about support and intervention for children and families and identify the most appropriate service to allocate a Targeted Help Co-ordinator  to work with the family. 

The panel is attended by a wide range of professionals from the public sector, community and voluntary services. The panel will provide relevant information about children and young people already known to them and discuss the best support plan for the family.

Once it has been determined during panel who the Targeted Help Co-ordinator is the targeted Help Team record them on both multi-agency panel minutes and on the child’s record. The Targeted help team will review the progress made against the plan initially at 6 weeks and up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

The review will ascertain whether support is still being provided, who is working with the family and whether the support is proving effective in meeting the family’s needs. The case will remain open on the children’s data base until any support or intervention has been completed and the outcome recorded.

4. Targeted help Co-ordinator and Team around the Family

Team around the Family

A Team around the Family is a term used when a family is receiving support from a range of people who are working together to improve outcomes for a family. The support being provided to a family could include Universal Services, targeted intervention or support via the Community or Voluntary Sector.

A family’s needs could be anything from an educational issue, a health difficulty, financial worries or perhaps housing, which require more than two or three professional’s expertise. A Team around the Family should be supporting any family need or difficulty that impact on children and without being addressed could affect a child’s developmental milestones and outcomes in the future. Through working with a Team around the Family, children’s support needs and difficulties can be addressed together to avoid things escalating.

As a parent if you are worried about lots of aspects of their life, other things can become more difficult to manage and things can feel beyond your control and unmanageable. This is when through the support of a Team around the Family parents can feel supported and enabled to manage things progressively, until all needs have been addressed.

Targeted Help Co-ordinator

Within a Team around the Family the Targeted help Co-ordinator will provide advice, support and guidance to the family within the context of their role, while working closely with other agencies to create a Single TAF Plan. With a family’s involvement a Targeted help Co-ordinator coordinates services so needs are addressed progressively without feeling overwhelming. The Targeted help Co-ordinator speaks to relevant professionals and organises an initial meeting so parents, young people (if they wish to be involved) and agencies can meet to develop a Single TAF Plan. The family is supported to take part in this process and is consulted with throughout.

Once a Team around the Family meeting has taken place and a plan is created the family and the professionals involved will have joint responsibility for achieving outcomes to reduce the level of need and any potential difficulties within the family situation. 

The Team around the Family then continue to talk to each other regularly, with the family continuously being involved to ensure things are ‘on track’ and the right support is in place at the right time.

Family Intervention Team (FIT)

The Family Intervention team is Children’s Services level 3 offer who work with whole families who present with a range of needs and would benefit from a Team around the Family Single TAF Plan. Families who work with the team present with complex needs and are likely to require a range of support from several professionals both at Universal level to more Specialist/Targeted Intervention and support.

The team have skills in whole family working to include delivering evidence based parenting support using a variety of programmes, mediation support to improve family relationships, working with families who’ve experienced domestic abuse and complete direct work with children to understand their world and support their key outcomes. A key role of the team is to support the coordination of a range of professionals who may be providing one to one support to individual family members.

The team work with families in order to enable them to build resilience and feel confident to recognise when they may need support in the future. The team aims to enable families with the confidence to engage with their community and universal services during intervention and when they want or need to in the future.

The team are allocated cases through the Targeted Help Panel, which currently takes place once a week and is attended by a range of multi-agency partners. As part of on-going good practice cases are reviewed regularly at 6 weeks initially and then up to 12 weeks to inform the families plan and ensure the family are continuing to benefit from additional support.