Information for professionals on the Early Help Assessment (EHA)

Supporting Families - the framework for our work with Early Help

The Supporting Families Programme in Herefordshire aims to make life better for some of the county's most vulnerable families and communities.

Based on the national Supporting Families programme, this local initiative assists Herefordshire families with complex or pressing needs, through interventions such as Early Help for families. Early help can be provided at any stage of a child or young person’s life, from birth through to the teenage years, or up to 25 years old for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The Herefordshire Supporting Families Outcomes Framework 2022 defines the outcomes which we are required by the DLUHC to meet for each criteria. In Herefordshire our Supporting Families Programme is fully aligned with our Early Help Offer and our local Early Help Assessment form.

The Early Help Assessment (EHA)

The EHA provides a method for assessing needs for children and young people to support earlier intervention and to improve joint working and communication between practitioners.

The aim in Herefordshire is to identify, at the earliest opportunity, a family or young person's needs which are not being met and provide a timely and coordinated package of support. EHA can be used by all professionals working with children, young people and families. It is a consent-based process so that it is underpinned by a partnership approach between families and practitioners, with emphasis on family-based decision-making.

The EHA looks at the strengths and needs of the child and their family.

A family should be part of the process: 

  • Their views should be sought and
  • An action plan for meeting their individual needs should be completed with them

Actions and support are then delivered via Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings or regular locality Early Help Multi-Agency Group meetings.

The Early Help Assessment form (EHA form)

The EHA form is a web-based document.

It consists of these sections:

  1. The family details
  2. The assessment of the family's needs
  3. Consent
  4. Action plan

The EHA form changed to a new Signs of Safety version on 1 October 2021. To book a place on Signs of Safety or early help assessment training, please go to Herefordshire CPD online.

Guidance for using the portal to write an Early Help Assessment

Submit an Early Help Assessment

Completing the Early Help Assessment form

All forms must be completed electronically. Consent must be obtained from the parent or young person and information contained in the document must be shared with them before the form is submitted. There is additional guidance to support professionals with the Early Help Assessment process and practical guidance for completing the form.

Once a form is submitted, it will go into the Early Help coordinator team's incoming work. You will receive an acknowledgement that it has been received and you may be contacted to provide additional information.

The role of the Key Person (KP)

The key person is normally the person completing the Early Help Assessment, however, another person can be nominated to be key person.

The key person will support the family to access services and help co-ordinate a multi-agency approach to the TAF meetings. Further details about the key person's role.

Early Help Assessment support plan

The Early Help Assessment support plan now replaces the delivery and review plan. This should be used to monitor progress against the outcomes at regular Team around the Family (TAF) or Early Help Multi-Agency meetings.

Early Help Assessment closure form

The Early Help Assessment closure form ensures that outcomes for children and families are monitored more effectively when an Early Help Assessment closes. This form allows the key person and the family to detail why the Early Help Assessment came to an end, what needs (if any) remain unmet and what impact Early Help had overall. These outcomes are measured against the Families First criteria. View the Supporting Families Outcomes Framework 2022 for help with completing these outcomes.

Early Help Multi-Agency Meetings (EH MAGs)

Early Help Multi-Agency meetings play a crucial role in the integration of services to provide early intervention and prevent needs escalating. The MAG will have ownership and commitment from key professionals working in each locality. Representatives from the core agencies and organisations whose focus is to support children and families will attend this meeting.

Early Help Multi-Agency meetings are being held every six weeks for the following areas:

  • Bromyard
  • Kington and Weobley
  • Leominster
  • Hereford City North
  • Hereford City South
  • Kingstone and Golden Valley
  • Ledbury
  • Ross-on-Wye

Please note - All future MAG meetings will be held virtually over Teams. You can find the timetable for meetings in the Early Help Assessment documents and resources.

As some meetings may be subject to change, it is advisable to double-check times and venues before attending.

To discuss early help for a family:

For questions and support regarding the Early help assessment, please email the early help co-ordinators:

Herefordshire directory of early help services

This is a list of local and nationwide services available to download in the directory of early help services and on the Talk Community Directory.

Early Help Assessment training

Regular training on the Early Help Assessment in Herefordshire is available through Herefordshire CPD-on-line.

Early Help Assessment co-ordinators

For information and guidance on completing the Early Help Assessment, please contact the early help co-ordinator team using the email link below.

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