Early Help is a key part of delivering frontline services that are integrated and focused around the needs of children and young people. See Early Help Directory
The Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT) is a tool used for gathering information and a standard approach in assessment for the identification of Early Help needs.This is based on discussions with children and the their family and other practitioners as appropriate.
Early Help is about:
- Identifying needs of children, young people and their family across a continuum of need (refer to Responding to Need Guidance and Levels of Need Framework).
- Understanding and responding quickly to identified needs.
- Listening to children and Families so that their views are informing what happens next.
- Supporting and re-focusing resources from crisis to prevention, and helping to avoid concerns repeating over time.
- Supporting families to achieve their full potential and thereby mitigate the impact of issues such as child poverty and health inequalities.
- Providing the context for multi-agency working to help children and families achieve improved outcomes.
The Early Help Directory provides a range of information about services and events for parents/carers, young people and children.
What is EHAT?
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.
Who is EHAT for?
Children/young people and families who would benefit from the provision of additional services, and where universal services do not meet any identified needs.
What does EHAT consist of?
A process common to all services for children/young people and their families to enable practitioners to undertake, in partnership with the child/family, an assessment of their needs and strengths and then act on what is identified as needs.
- A standard form to record the assessment.
- A pre-assessment is available to certain services, where they know of needs but are not in a position to undertake an EHAT.
- The assessment covers three areas: development of the child, parents and carers, family and environment.
Who should use EHAT?
Every practitioner working with children, young people and families should understand that Early Help can prevent concerns escalating to a stage that requires statutory intervention, and supports families in becoming more resilient.
All children’s workforce should and know about EHAT or how to undertake one themselves, and how the levels of need frame early help.
Every organisation offering services to children should ensure at least some of their staff are equipped to complete an EHAT form or assessment.
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.
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.
Who will have access to EHAT?
EHAT trained professionals from all agencies who work with children. However the individual EHAT will be owned by the child/young person/family and the practitioner who undertook the EHAT process.
Information contained in EHAT will not be able to be shared without the consent of the child/family.
How will EHAT fit in with family-centred planning?
EHAT fits perfectly with family centred planning as EHAT has the identification of needs and strengths of the children/family at its core. It is universal to all agencies and is the 'property' of the person being assessed.
How does EHAT impact on the Single Assessment/Education Health Care Plan?
The EHAT will inform a Single Assessment undertaken by Children's Social Care, or a request for an Education Health Care Plan, or indeed any other specialist Assessments.
Further information including access to documentation and Training can be found Here
Early Help Hub – South
Telephone: 0151 233 4447
Early Help Hub – Central
Telephone: 0151 233 6152
Early Help Hub – North
Telephone: 0151 233 3637