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Information for professionals about assessing family and children's needs (early help assessment)

This information is for professionals working with families to complete an early help assessment (EHA).

About early help assessments

Professionals working with families can use an EHA to identify strengths and difficulties that they may be experiencing, and set strategies to minimise any negative impact on the child.

The EHA replaces the common assessment framework (CAF) for assessing children’s needs with parents and families.

Agencies should work together on an assessment to plan support for families and reduce the chance of concerns escalating to a point where statutory intervention is needed.

There is also an opportunity to capture the voice of the child and make sure that they are involved in the assessment, if appropriate.

How to complete an early help assessment

First of all, refer to our continuum of need document, and the continuum of need guidance document for information on how to identify difficulties and set interventions.

Then follow this step-by-step process:

  1. Gather and record information.

  2. Think about how this information impacts on the child and family.

  3. Plan a course of action.

When you’ve completed it, give the family concerned a copy of the early help assessment.

Logging early help assessments

If you complete an EHA at Level 2 of our continuum of need, you should log it with the lead professional’s agency.

EHAs that were allocated by the early help panel will be logged in the children’s social care system.  

After you complete an EHA

After you meet with the family and complete an EHA, you should hold a team around the family meeting within six weeks.

Find out more

Contact us for support and advice about completing the EHA.

Getting consent

If you are making a referral for assessment, you must get consent for the assessment to take place.

It is your duty to fully explain consent to the family you are working with and give them the option to consent fully or to particular areas. They must give consent for the lead professional to consult with:

  • parents

  • carers

  • children and young people in the family

  • other family members

  • appropriate friends

  • any professionals involved with the family.

Each of these people will hold different pieces of information which will contribute to the whole assessment.

Explain to families that they will get better support if they consent to having their information shared with other services and professionals. Reassure them that all data will be stored securely.

Find out more about getting consent.

For more information regarding the use of your personal data, you can view our privacy policy.

Documents

Contact

Early Help

Third Floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, SE6 4RU
Email: earlyhelp@lewisham.gov.uk or EarlyHelpGCSX@Lewisham.GCSX.gov.uk
Opening hours:

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Telephone: 020 8314 7333 (to speak to an early help adviser or social worker)