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Early Help services are preventative support for children and families, acting early before issues – including neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health – escalate and become more serious.

Why we are doing this: 

Leeds City Council needed visibility across all of their Early Help services to analyse what works best and continue to improve services.


Social Finance worked with services across Leeds to co-design a new simpler, more effective common data collection. We took a two-fold approach, working with:

  1. Early Help leadership to understand the key insights needed to transform services
  2. Frontline teams to understand how they use and collect data day-to-day.

With this we created new simpler, more intuitive data collection processes which are common across services and enable the insights leadership need.

What we are doing: 

We’re currently working with Leeds to implement these changes. By reducing data collection by over 70%, simplifying processes, and focusing more on narrative this will free-up significant time for workers to spend with families. Creating common data and analysis dashboards will enable leadership to understand if they are getting support to the families that most need it, which approaches are most effective and where they need to invest to improve support.

With Early Help budgets having been cut >40% nationally since 2012, it’s essential that councils have the analysis and evidence to make the business case to protect services and most effectively spend their funds.