Early Help

What is Early Help?

Getting the help your family needs, early, when you need it. This could be the help you get through school, nursery, a worker from health, housing or youth services etc. Early Help is a broad way of describing the help lots of services offer and can cover a wide range of things, from connecting you with the right organisation to someone visiting you weekly if problems are more serious. 

You don’t need to face challenges on your own. Speak with a worker you already know, such as at a health appointment, at your child's school, or at your local Family hub, about Early Help support you can be linked up with.

What is a 'Team Around my Family' or TAF?

Sometimes you might have a few things going on and want help from various services – you may be offered an Early Help family plan. This pulls a team of people who are helpful to you and your family together. This Team Around your Family (TAF) can include friends, family and practitioners, anyone who you feel can be helpful. You will be supported to develop your own family plan and review it regularly.

What are the benefits to having a Team Around my Family? 

Families often say that they have to speak to lots of workers and repeat the same information about what’s happening, or that it seems as if all the workers involved do not speak to each other. With regular reviews of your Early Help Family Plan, information is easily shared to make sure that you receive the most useful help you and your family need. 

Does this mean Children’s Social Care will be involved? 

You decide and choose to work with Early Help, it is completely voluntary. Early Help is not Social Care. However, there may be times when a worker has to share information with Social Care to keep you, your family or others safe. If it is thought that somebody is at risk of harm or a crime could be prevented, information will be shared. You will always be informed about this.

An Agreement

By working with Early help supports and services, you, your family and those supporting you agree to;

  • Be open, honest & respectful with each other 
  • Work together to explore what is going well and things that you and others in your family might be worried about 
  • Share information with others who could help (such as school, GP, health visitor, Department of Work and Pensions etc) 
  • Work together to identify helpful goals and how to reach them 
  • Record and securely store conversations, assessments and plans you agree on

Further support 

If you would like to find out what Early Help services are available to you and your family speak to a worker you already know, they will listen and help you get the support you are looking for. You can also visit your closest Children and Families hub or speak with an Early Help representative by calling 0191 2115805 or emailing earlyhelp@newcastle.gov.uk

Early Help Services Privacy Statement

Information for the Public

This information relates to data received, held, processed or shared by Newcastle City Council to provide Early Help services. These include (but are not limited to) the work of the Early Help Locality Teams. It should be read alongside the general information about Newcastle City Council’s data processing. https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/your-council-and-democracy/open-data-and-accessto-information/privacy-policy 

What are Early Help Services?

Early Help Services work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families. Newcastle City Council commissions delivery of services and provides support, training and monitoring to a number of these agencies. Information contained in Early Help Enquiries, Early Help Plans and other types of Whole Family Assessments is logged with Newcastle City Council. 

Newcastle City Council is therefore a data controller for Early Help information. That means we are responsible for determining what, why and how data relating to Early Help is processed. When we talk about processing data, we really just mean doing something with it. The law says we must; 

  • Process your data lawfully and fairly and tell you what we are doing with it. 
  • Have a legitimate and necessary reason to process and hold your data.
  • Ensure the accuracy and security of the data we hold

What information do we collect and use?

The type of information we hold includes; 

  • personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender)
  • special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, details of criminal offences, physical and mental health, religious beliefs, sexuality and sexual health)
  • reasons for support (such as what is working well and what you are worried about)
  • assessment and plan information (such as further details of your issues and challenges, and how we are going to work together to bring about the changes you want to see)
  • details of events and services that you access through us

Why can we collect and use your personal data?

As the name ‘Early Help’ suggests, the reason we share information is to ensure we can give you the best support in meeting your needs and to avoid more intrusive, expensive, reactive involvement at a later date. We are allowed, by law, to collect and use personal information in order to perform our duties as a Local Authority and carry out tasks that are in the public interest. There are many laws that cover what we do in Early Help which allow or tell us to process and share information. These include;

  • The Children’s Act 2004 (Section10)
  • The Children’s Act 1989 (Section 17)
  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Section 115)
  • The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Section 131)
  • The Education and Skills Act 2008 (Section 17)
  • The Local Government Act 2000 (Section 2.1)
  • The National Health Services Act 2006 (Section 82)
  • Digital Economy Act 2017 (part 5) 

The National Data Guardian highlights the importance of sharing information lawfully and in the right way. Experience from Serious Case Reviews (where things have gone wrong in the past) warns against too little information sharing.

Who do we collect data from and who do we share it with?

Information within Early Help comes from different sources; existing data held by the Council, information from other agencies and information you have agreed to share with us. The information reflects that collected on Early Help Assessments and Plans. You can find a blank example of the form here newcastle.gov.uk/early help This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Teams within Newcastle City Council (such as Children’s Social Care and Youth Offending Team)
  • Voluntary Sector partners both those we commission to provide Local Authority Services and those funded and managed through other arrangements (such as Action for Children, Barnardo’s and Children North East).
  • Education Providers such as; School, Academies and Nurseries
  • Northumbria Police and Probation Services
  • Health Professionals
  • OFSTED (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills.)
  • Government Departments such as; Department for Education, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Department of Work and Pensions

What are your rights around the data we hold?

Under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you can; 

  • Ask to see the information we hold on you (subject access request)
  • Ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you.
  • You have the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for any council service. However, if this request is approved, this may cause delays or prevent us delivering that service.
  • Withdraw consent at any time (if applicable). Where possible, we will seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information because we are required to by law
  • GDPR legislation gives you the right to complain to a supervisory authority. In the UK this is the Information Commissioner who you can contact on 03031231113

How long do we keep your personal information for?

There is often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time, we try to include all of these in our retention schedule. For each service, the schedule lists how long your information may be kept for. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records.

How do we keep your data secure?

Staff in each area will only see personal information that is essential for them to carry out their job. They may also share information with other teams in order to provide you with services. All organisations we share information with will have an Information Sharing Agreement with Newcastle Council ensuring they meet the requirements of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.


For more information on GDPR in Newcastle or to exercise you rights in relation to GDPR please contact; Information Governance Team Newcastle City Council Civic Centre Barras Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8QH dataprotection@newcastle.gov.uk