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Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership

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Early Help Assessment and Threshold of Need


Early Help

“Early help is support for children of all ages that improves a family’s resilience and outcomes or reduces the chance of a problem getting worse. It is not an individual service, but a system of support delivered by local authorities and their partners working together and taking collective responsibility to provide the right provision in their area. ...Early help may be appropriate for children and families who have several needs, or whose circumstances might make them more vulnerable. It is a voluntary approach, requiring the family’s consent to receive support and services offered. 

(Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023, Chapter 3)

Early Help AssessmentEarly Help logo

A new Early Help Assessment form launched in December 2023. It replaces FCAF, Early Help Part 1 and many other assessment and referral forms. It is designed to include the voice of the child whilst avoiding families needing to have multiple assessments. The form supports whole family assessment to identify the right help for families and it is the assessment being used across children's services, adults' services and other agencies working with families throughout the city.

 You can find details about it on the Sheffield Directory and below.


Threshold of Need           

Produced through a collaboration between partner agencies, the new Sheffield Threshold of Need Guidance is now available. 

Diagram of the four levels of service according to described need

This guidance describes the levels of service available to children and families, according to their needs and any concerns. It applies to a broad range of children and families from those who need a small amount of additional support, to children in need of protection. The guidance supports clarification of what the concern is, what level of service is required, and what to do next. It will be particularly relevant to services whose function involves working with families or family members, but it is designed to support anybody seeking help for a child.

The following short guides have been produced to accompany this document:

Threshold of Need Front Page Picture

Sheffield guidance and resources:


The Early Help Partnership training offer including the Early Help Assessment and Holding Team Around the Family Meetings, can be found here.  To be added to the Early Help training distribution list complete this form

Training from the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership can be accessed here.

National guidance:


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