Understanding the needs of a family, child or young person

How to gather information and understand the needs of families

There are stages to this but key is the relationship built between practitioner or key worker and the family, child or young person.

Information gathering

Speak to the family, preferably both parents and children. Provide them with the opportunity to share how they see any issues.

Find out what help they have already accessed and what the outcome of that help was.

Gain permission to share relevant information with appropriate agencies.

Ask the family who else it would be helpful to involve such as other services in the assessment? What further information could other services contribute?

Early Help Plan

With all the information gathered undertake an Early Help Plan  with the family (template of an Early Help Plan in Effective Support guidance or use own organisation) TAF template.

Consult with the Effective Support for Children and Families in Essex guidance using the indicators of need to help with identifying the level of need for the family.

You may need to consult with your designated safeguarding lead.

You can consult with a Social Worker through the Children and Families Hub consultation line 0345 603627.

Ensure that you share the Early Help Plan with appropriate members of the family (both parents where ever possible).

Next steps

Once you have agreed any support required with the family you may:

  • be able to provide the additional support through your own organisation
  • need a Team Around the Family meeting
  • need to joint work with one other agency
  • need to refer to another agency
  • need to submit a Request For Support Form through the Effective Support website for Family Solutions or Children`s Social Care support.