Early Support

“Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later” (Working Together 2018)

Effective early support means that we

  • identify children and families who would benefit from early help
  • undertake an assessment of the need for early help
  • provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child

In Wiltshire we have a new Early Support Assessment (ESA), which replaces the CAF. The form is designed to be easy to use and enables:

  • a holistic, strengths based approach
  • shared language across the professional network
  • provides a framework for information sharing
  • evidences progress

To register this assessment, please email or scan a copy, password protected if necessary, to CAF@wiltshire.gov.uk. An Early Support Review Form can then be used for Review Meetings after the assessment.


Virtual ESA Practitioner webinars recently took place to support the use of the new ESA form. The webinars were attended by over 200 practitioners across the county. The presentation slides from the webinars can be accessed here.


Multi-Agency Forums (MAFs) are community based meetings where agencies come together to discuss relevant issues relating to safeguarding and the well-being of children and young people.  These can support multi-agency working and practitioners who attend MAFs tell us that they find them really  helpful and  supportive in their work. The ambition is to have active MAFs operating in all community areas.  Please find the latest MAF dates and Coordinator contact details here.


Wiltshire’s Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance provides a model of integrated working and gives practical guidance on making decisions across service thresholds. For more information about multi-agency thresholds go to: https://www.wiltshirescb.org.uk/professionals/safeguarding-thresholds/