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 (CYP) services to help ensure that families get the right help, at the right time, as quickly as possible.
To do this a professional, including a GP, a teacher or support worker, can use an Early Help Assessment (EHA). This assessment helps the council to provide support to families at the earliest opportunity and reduces the need for more costly specialist or statutory services at a later stage.
The EHA uses a Signs of Safety (SOS) approach, which is a risk-based assessment process used across all CYP services to help families achieve positive outcomes.
Please do not complete an EHA if you are a parent or carer and have worries or concerns about your child. There are other services that can help and support you, including:
- Your GP
- Health visitor
- School nurse
- Family Solutions Service
- Accelerated Support Team
- Family Wellbeing Centres
- Parenting support
- Advice and information if you think your child may have SEND
Concerns about children or young people being harmed or at risk of harm should be reported to our child protection team.
The EHA provides a common approach, a 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 is used by professionals:
- As a referral for families to access targeted services, including Portage and the Family Solutions Service
- 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
- Bring together all of the information about families on the same form so that they do not have to repeat the same story to different professionals.
- Assess the family's needs in a holistic way and help them to set goals
- Work in partnership with the family and partner agencies to deliver co-ordinated services
- Review and monitor the family’s progress towards achieving their goals
The EHA process is voluntary and consent is required from parents/carers for relevant information to be shared between agencies.
When an EHA should be used and how to complete it
An EHA should be used when:
- 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
A guide is available to help practitioners and volunteers refer a child/and or family for support.
Complete an online EHA
Complete the online EHA. Please note: It must be completed in real time, you will not be able to save or complete it at a later stage. If you need help, read our guidance document further support and training, please see the section below.
Training and support to help professionals complete an EHA
There is a rolling programme of multi-agency, free training to support professionals with completing the Early Help Assessment. Alternatively, bespoke training can be delivered if there are five or more professionals who require it. For further information about training or the new ePortal please contact Safoora Ahmed, EHA Development Officer on 0208 937 4799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next?
After you have submitted your EHA, you will be contacted by a member of the team within five working days.
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.