What is the Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT)?

The EHAT is a shared assessment tool for use across all services for children/young people and their families. It aims to help early identification needs of children/young people and promotes a co-ordinated service response to meet those needs. EHAT is undertaken with the consent and full participation of the child/young person and their family.

The EHAT should be used with children/young people and families who would benefit from the provision of additional services, and where universal services do not meet any identified needs.

How does EHAT link with other assessments?

The EHAT process should be used when needs affects a child or children’s ability to develop appropriately, and where they will benefit from the support of services from a range of services. The aim is to ensure that children receive these services at the earliest opportunity.

This should remove the need for multiple assessments at the early stages of intervention in children’s lives.

Where a more specialist assessment (such as a Single Assessment under the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families) is required, using EHAT will help by clearly identifying needs and what support arrangements have been in place during Early Help.

This can make sure that a Single Assessment for Social Care support is fully informed and ensure that the referral is really necessary and that it is supported by accurate up-to-date information.

The information gathered will follow the children/family and builds up a picture over time, rather than a series of partial snapshots.

Do Children with SEND need an EHAT?

No. Unless wider support needs for the family have been identified or other issues that impact on the wellbeing of the child (for example, concerns around parenting capacity due to substance misuse, parental mental health, domestic abuse) there is no need to complete an EHAT.

Read our guidance here

How will EHAT be involved with Social Services for adults (individuals over 16 years old)?

EHAT is designed to be used for all children from pre-birth to 18 years of age. There are protocols for handover of assessment information to adult services.
Adult Services are also actively involved in the process where parent(s) needs affect the wellbeing of their children.