Sometimes children, young people, adults and families need some additional support. We use the Early Help Assessment (EHA) to assess the needs of your family and make sure you get the help you need as quickly as possible. We use a Think Family approach to make sure we are supporting all the needs of the different members of your family.

The process is voluntary, you can choose whether to be involved and you can withdraw from the process at any time. In some situations children / young people can make their own decisions about whether they need an EHA, and who they want to support them.

  • The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a shared assessment used by different agencies who work with families. Once it has been completed, and with your agreement, the EHA form will be shown to other workers and services who may be able to offer advice and support. This means you will not need to repeat information to lots of different people.
  • Following the assessment, one person will be identified to be your Lead Professional. They will try to get your family the support you need to address the needs and concerns of all members of your family. They will coordinate the work with other professionals and your family, so you have one main point of contact.
  • Your Lead Professional will also make sure everyone is working to the same plan. They will aim to make sure that everyone involved with your family is working together and sharing information. This is facilitated through Team Around the Family meetings and also in some cases placing indicators on service provider organisations’ databases so they are aware to work with your Lead Professional. You will be involved throughout the decision-making process, and will be central to the solution.
  • Someone who works with you or your family may suggest an EHA is started. You can also ask for an EHA yourself if you think you or your child needs additional support.
  • The person starting the assessment (the assessor) will check that your family does not already have an EHA (or a CAF or FCAF which were previous versions of the assessment).
  • They will arrange a discussion with you and your family about what you are all worried about as well as what is working well, and this will help fill in the EHA form. They will also make sure you are happy with what has been recorded and how it will be stored.
  • The assessor will discuss who may be able to help you and ask for you and your family's consent before proceeding. It may not always be possible to provide all of the support you and your assessor think may be needed.
  • Once you have consented, you and the assessor will discuss the next steps which will include sending the Early Help Assessment to the Early Help Hub to request support. The Early Help Hub hold information about support available in Cambridgeshire and are well placed, along with your assessor to identify what service(s) should offer support. If support is being offered, a Lead Professional will be identified and the different workers who need to be involved will form a Team around your Family. As a team you will work together to create a Family Plan to achieve your goals. 

  • You, your family, and the team who are supporting you will carry out your actions from the plan. You will meet regularly to review your plan, until the extra support is no longer needed.

The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is voluntary, and we need your consent before we can start. Once we have finished gathering information, we will ask for your consent to receive a 'Think Family' response. We share your information so you don’t have to keep telling your family’s story and to ensure you receive the right support at the right time. 

  • We will only share the minimum amount of information necessary to support professionals to work effectively together with you.
  • You will be able to discuss with your Lead Professional how much of the content of your assessment is shared with other professionals in the team around your family. Your assessment will be securely stored  by a central team and may also be securely stored by professionals who are working with you.
  • If the Lead Professional feels that it would be in your family's best interests to share more detailed/historic information about your circumstances this will be discussed with you before any information is shared, and your consent sought if necessary

We may collect, share and store information we hold about you and your family on a regular basis. This is for several different purposes:

  • To identify your needs and work out what support you may find helpful for you and your family
  • To enable professionals to work in a Think Family way. Information about who your lead professional is will be shared with appropriate other professionals (who may record this on their organisation's electronic system).
  • To understand if the support you received or are receiving has been effective
  • To evaluate the quality of completed assessments and Family Plans

We participate in a national programme to demonstrate the impact of whole family support. As part of this we may share basic information we hold about you and the rest of your family (including those who may not be receiving support) with the Department for Communities and Local Government for the purposes of a national evaluation.

The EHA may be stored on paper and / or securely stored electronically. You will be asked to check and sign a paper copy to ensure it is correct and will also receive a copy. The existence or refusal of an EHA is recorded on our database to track support that has been offered in the past. You have the right, at any time, to request access to all personal information held about you. Find out more about accessing information

Further information

To find out more about the EHA you can speak to the person who suggested the EHA or another professional who knows you and your family or contact the Early Help Hub:

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 01480 376 666 (office hours)

District teams are local teams made up of professionals working in a range of different fields that coordinate service provision for children and young people.

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