Early Help Assessments (EHA) are used to identify a child and family’s needs and strengths, and to plan the right support and services to address those needs at an early stage. The process allows different agencies and services to share information and work together in a coordinated way.
The assessments are voluntary and require the engagement of parents/carers or young people before they can begin. The child and family must be fully involved in developing their plan throughout. The process allows everyone's needs in the family to be taken into account, in order to make a lasting difference.
The process is designed to address children’s needs which require a multi-agency response at an early stage. An EHA should be started by any practitioner who has identified additional needs for any of the children, young people or families they are working with, when there are 3 or more agencies involved.
When a practitioner requests an EHA (via the MASH) for a child and their family, they may be asked to become the Lead Professional. The Lead Professional’s role is to act as the single point of contact for the family and the other agencies involved, so the family don’t have to keep repeating their story. The Lead Professional will also make sure that there are regular review meetings with the family and the other key agencies, who will form the ‘Team Around the Family’. This ensures that the plan for the child and their family is progressing and that their identified needs are being met.
Access to the Early Help Module (EHM)
EHM is a secure, web-based case recording system, used to record an EHA and review meetings, managed by Family Services. This enables the Assessment to be shared securely with other agencies, if the family agree. The Lead Professional will need to register for access to EHM and undertake brief e-training to be provided with a log-in.
To become an EHM user:
- complete the
EHM new user request form
- your line manager needs to authorise this and to send the form to - FSSystemsandData@Barnet.gov.uk. (They will not accept a generic e-mail address for data protection reasons).
- once your application is accepted, you will be required to do the EHM online training module. The team will send you log-in details for the training course
- you will receive a certificate at the end of the training, which you will need to e-mail to FSSystemsandData@Barnet.gov.uk, to request your user name and password for the Early Help Module system
- once you have access to the EHM system follow the
- If you have any technical difficulties using the System, please contact the Family Services Systems Team on: FSSystemsandData@Barnet.gov.uk or tel: 0208 359 4989
Contacting your EHA Coordinator
Contact your EHA Coordinator via your local Early Help Hub. (The Hubs are based on the child’s home address, rather than the school’s address).
0-19 Early Help Operational Protocol - Timescales and Practice Standards
An EHA needs to be a focused and time limited piece of work, and shouldn’t remain open more than 9 months. The EHA should be completed within 10 weeks of having been allocated to the Lead Professional and reviewed within 8 weeks).