The Early Help Assessment Tool for children and young people is used by many agencies across England. It is designed to help practitioners develop a shared understanding of a child or young person's needs so that there is a coordinated, timely service provision. The assessment is a family based assessment meaning that each child’s needs and strengths can be captured in one place, taking into account the whole family and its unique context.
In Sutton we use the LSCP Threshold document in conjunction with the London Child Protection Procedures and their associated threshold guidance to help us assess the needs of children and young people. This enables us to understand changing levels of need and to identify when children and young people require referrals for statutory assessment. EHATs are usually started at Level 2 of the LSCP Threshold.
The assessment is a family based assessment meaning that each child’s needs and strengths can be captured in one place, taking into account the whole family and its unique context. Effective early help assessments ensure everyone works together, and provides a forum for the whole family and the key professionals involved with them to form an assessment of the current situation of the child or young person. This reduces the needs for families to repeat their stories, and ensures that the right people are in place to quickly provide appropriate support and services.
The assessment should always be undertaken in a sensitive and supportive manner, it may seem a scary process for families so you may need to speak to them a couple of times about the process.