Support for professionals working with families

How to use the Family Help or Focus Family frameworks to support a family with additional needs.

Family Help

Family Help is the response made when a professional identifies unmet needs with a child or family, and works in collaboration with families, networks and other agencies to meet those needs at the earliest opportunity.

At this level of need an Early Help Assessment (EHA) should be completed with the child and family to identify: 

  • what's working well - to understand and build on strengths
  • what the worries are - to provide a clear focus for planning 
  • what future wellbeing would look like – to give a vision of future wellbeing

Any professional from a service that supports families can initiate an EHA and it can be carried out with any child or young person from before birth up to the age of 19 (or up to the age of 25 if the young person has a learning difficulty or disability).

The completion of an EHA would trigger a collaborative response from different agencies, with the child or young person at the centre.  A date will be set for a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting, in order to identify a coordinator, agree the wellbeing plan, and which agency will work in partnership with the family and network to achieve each of the wellbeing goals.

Once agreed with the family:

  • the EHA should be registered using the Online Registration Form 
  • if the EHA coordination changes, it is the responsibility of the current coordinator to complete the Online Early Help Change of Coordinator Form with the new Early Help Coordinator’s details.
  • when the Early Help plan is met, or for stopped for another reason, the Online Early Help Closure Form should be submitted.

For more Early Help forms, guidance and information please visit the Cumbria Safeguarding Children website.


For advice or enquiries relating to Family Help, please use the details below:

Tel: 0300 373 2723


Focus Family

The Focus Family Team work closely in partnership with other services and agencies to jointly tackle all the different needs that are faced by the whole family. We call this the Think Family approach.

As part of the Think Family approach, Focus Family can offer support in signposting professionals and families to other local service providers who would be able to offer them additional support.

How we can help

Our employment advisors:

  • offer a full welfare benefit health check to ensure families are receiving the correct benefits 
  • attend Team Around Family meetings
  • support individuals back into the workplace
  • support with job searches and updating CVs

We also offer:

  • signposting and access to local and national grants, funds and charities
  • telephone consultations or community-based appointments
  • advice and signposting for families in need and professionals (including domestic abuse, poverty, SEND, financial hardship) 
  • assistance in getting white goods and furniture for households in need
  • signposting to local community food hubs 

More information


For advice or enquiries relating to Focus Family, please use the details below: