The Family Support Team plays a pivotal role in Suffolk’s early help system, but it’s important to recognise that early help is an approach, not a standalone service and schools are the largest provider of early help across the county. The new name, Family Support Team, better reflects the nature of the support provided by SCC’s team.
In addition to the team’s name change, we have renamed the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to the Early Help Assessment, to help re-position these assessments as tools for practitioners and partners to us with families to evaluate their strengths, needs and consider the network of support around them, rather than a referral to the Family Support Team.
To support this change, we have updated the guidance on when making a referral to the Family Support Team is appropriate. This guidance also covers how to engage in conversations about strengths and needs when concerns arise. The guidance can be found here Early Help Assessment
We believe that by fostering a deeper understanding of when to make referrals and equipping practitioners and partners with updated guidance, we can collectively enhance outcomes for children and ensure the right agencies are involved based on the Early Help Assessment. Your continued collaboration and expertise are invaluable in making these changes. We appreciate your ongoing commitment to families in Suffolk.