Early Intervention: Multi-Agency Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT)
The Early Help Assessment for children and young people is an assessment tool 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 they can be met quickly and effectively.
In Sutton we use the London Continuum of Need to help us asses 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 London Continuum.
What is an Early Help Assessment?
The early help assessment is a tool to help the early identification of children and young people’s emerging needs and strengths and promote 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.
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.
When to complete an Early Help Assessment
- If you are worried about a behaviour, incident or information
- Require more information to help you plan next steps to address an issue
- The child, young person of family needs cannot be met by a single agency
- If a parent expresses concerns
Undertaking an Early Help Assessment will help you to:
- Identify needs and explore any concerns
- Address emerging multiple needs
- Promote early help services where additional needs are identified
- Create packages of tailored support
- Co-ordinate support and involvement through a named Lead Professional
- Share information effectively and appropriately
- Reduce the number of times a family needs to tell its story
Before undertaking a new early help assessment it is important to find out if one has already been completed or started and if there is a Lead Professional, or if Social Services are involved.
To do this contact EHAT@sutton.gov.uk or call 0208 4770 4128.
A copy of the completed EHAT and should always be sent to EHAT@sutton.gov.uk. Where possible documents should be emailed securely rather than posted or faxed. The signed copy should be held by the completing agency. Please use the signature boxes on the form to indicate that a signed copy is held by your agency by filling them in with "signed copy held on file".
For any queries, please contact the Early Help Co-ordinator on 020 8770 4128.