Supporting families

Northumberland supporting families partnership aims to help families who face multiple and complex needs through existing services and intensive family support.

Northumberland supporting families partnership aims to help those facing problems through existing services and thorough intensive family support.

Northumberland's supporting families partnership has worked with families with multiple and complex needs in a whole family way since 2012. We have successfully supported 650 families in three years to positively change their lives.
In January 2015, supporting families was selected as an early starter for the expanded 2015-2020 programme, with funding confirmed for the first financial year running as a ‘payment by results’ model.

A family outcome plan was also created to help identify and address the needs of families facing multiple complex issues at local level, as set out in government criteria below:
  • parents and children involved in crime or antisocial behaviour
  • children who have not been attending school regularly
  • children who need help (identified as in need or are subject to a child protection plan)
  • adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion, or young people at risk of this
  • families affected by domestic violence and abuse
  • parents and children with a range of health problems
Families should have a minimum of two out of the six criteria and they’re prioritised for support as follows:
  • families with more than one family member contributing to multiple needs, most likely to benefit from an integrated whole-family approach
  • families who are the highest cost to the public purse, therefore those who may have several criteria
A copy of the Northumberland supporting families partnership outcome plan can be downloaded here.

This plan promotes a common set of measurable outcomes for agencies and partner organisations to provide support, which reduces risk and vulnerability for families while encouraging service transformation towards a whole-family approach.

Success is demonstrated through ‘significant and sustained progress or continuous employment,’ using the outcome measures for each criteria. This means there should be less need for re-referral in the future.

The extended criteria means support can be offered earlier. Some families may need this support to come from many services, some from just one. If these services aren’t involved then the early help process will provide assessment and a planning framework.
To access funding from the government, the partnership has to agree to take part in a national evaluation of the programme. There are three things the local authorities must provide:
  • quarterly anonymised family progress data
  • information on delivery costs and savings
  • basic personal information on family members for the national impact study
How do I know whether my information could be shared?
Families working with the partnership and that meet two or more of the criteria could have their information shared. A leaflet is available for those who could have their information shared.

How are you using our information?
If your family is considered for support through the partnership, we may share your personal information (name, address, DOB, identification numbers if held) for research purposes only. These are used by the government to evaluate the effectiveness of the support.

How will it affect me?
It will not affect your benefits, services or treatments. Details will be provided in accordance with the law and will be anonymous once processed.

Why is my information being shared?
We share information to help us to improve future services. We use your information to find out how support can help families.

You can opt out of this arrangement by speaking to the worker supporting your family or telephone the Northumberland County Council contact centre on 03456 006400. 
If you’re a parent or carer of a child who you feel would benefit from additional support, please ask the child’s school or other involved professional to make a referral to the early intervention hub.

The early intervention hubs have been set up so that all referrals come in to a central point and can be discussed at a multi-agency meeting to ensure that families receive the most appropriate support at the right time.

If you want to refer to the early help hubs, click on the links below to access the referral forms and leaflets or contact;

The Hub form Information leaflets If you are supporting a family who you feel meet the supporting families criteria and they would like to access support from our employment advisors or you are a service who would like to tell us about a family you are supporting who meet the criteria, please complete this supporting families identification form.

If you’re unable to access the above form, you can request a Word copy by emailing

All forms available on this page must be submitted by secure email or through CryptShare. It is important to fully complete all forms.
We take into account the role of parents, carers and environmental factors on children’s development. This means professionals and families are better placed to agree appropriate support.

In this section you can view/download our assessment forms, action plans and the form to be used when agency involvement comes to an end.

Assessment forms are used to support practitioners when they’re identifying a need with a child, young person or family. Action plans are formulated so all involved parties have an extensive overview of everything going on.

The documents are below:

Leaflet The Early Help Assessment Action Plans for TAFs Closing an Early Help Assessment Guidance
Training enquiries
Contact the team on: There is an E-Learning online EHA programme available through the NCC Learning Pool. This can be accessed by local authority, health, school, and early years settings. 

If you require further training, please contact us using the details above. 

Training dates
To be advertised soon.

Early help assessment trainers in Northumberland
Please contact a member of the Early Help Team on 01670 536400 or email