Getting an Early Help Assessment
In Brent, we want to make it as simple as possible for professionals to make referrals to children and young people’s services, to help ensure that families get the right help, at the right time and as quickly as possible.
To help us do this, the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) has been simplified and updated to reflect the Signs of Safety (SoS) approach. The name has also been changed to the Early Help Assessment (EHA). The SoS approach is a risk-based assessment process being used across all CYP services to help families achieve positive outcomes.
In order to intervene at the earliest point, and to target help and support in a way that makes a difference to the lives of families, a good quality assessment and action plan are required. The EHA is part of Brent’s strategy to provide help to families at the earliest point of identification and to reduce the need for more costly specialist or statutory service interventions at a later stage.
The EHA provides a common approach, common language and a holistic assessment of the family’s needs, which is meaningful to the family because they have been supported to tell their story and have worked in partnership with professionals to help them achieve their goals. The EHA can be used:
- As a referral to access targeted services from Early Help, which includes the Family Solutions Team
- To assess, plan and review a package of support to meet each family’s needs and goals
- To nominate families as part of Brent’s Working with Families programme.
The EHA is a tool to assess and coordinate multi-agency support for children and young people with additional needs and enables us to:
- Listen to children, young people and their families to identify their strengths and needs at an early stage
- Assess their needs in a holistic way and help the family to set goals
- Work in partnership with the family and partner agencies to deliver coordinated services
- Review and monitor the family’s progress towards achieving their goals.
The process is entirely voluntary and informed consent is required from the parent/carer. The EHA aims to bring together all of the information about children, young people and their families on the same form so that families do not have to repeat the same story to different professionals. Parental consent allows relevant information to be shared between agencies, but families can choose which information they want shared and with which agency.
When the EHA should be used
- A professional is worried about how well a child or young person is progressing. For example, there may be concerns about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning, or another aspect of their wellbeing
- A child, a young person, or their parent/carer raises a concern with a professional
- A child or young person's needs are unclear, or are broader than the professional's service can address.
Where to send the completed EHA
Please email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next
Training and support to help you complete an EHA
- Completing EHAs, both face-to-face and online
- Using the Signs of Safety (SoS) approach
- Taking on the Lead Professional role and facilitating Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings
- Taking on the Lead Worker role as part of the Working with Families programme
- Using Outcome Star
Early help professionals group
These meetings are arranged by the EHA team. They take place termly and cover specific areas of practice. To find out when the next meeting is due to take place, please contact our Early Help team.