What is an Early Help Assessment?
The Early Help Assessment is a way of working with children and young people. It involves listening to you and your child to find out your child’s needs, and what is working well in your child’s life. An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is also put in place to make sure your child gets the right sort of help. The Early Help Assessment is voluntary – you and your child can choose to be involved.
How will The Early Help Assessment help my family?
The Early Help Assessment exists to help you support your child. It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed. The Early Help Assessment will ensure that everyone involved with your child – such as teachers and health visitors – works together to support your child. The Early Help Assessment will help your child receive the right support at an early stage before their needs increase which can be much more difficult to help you with. As The Early Help Assessment is a shared assessment, you and your child will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.
When is The Early Help Assessment used?
The Early Help Assessment can be used if you or someone who works with your child would like your child to receive extra support. It will help to identify your child’s additional needs, and other workers required to support your family.
How does it work?
With agreement a professional will ask you and your child some questions to find out what help and support your child might need. This information is recorded on a simple form. You and your child will agree what is put on the form, and you will be given a copy of it.
Older children may feel able to discuss their situation on their own with the worker. A young person’s wish to keep information confidential from parents may be respected by the worker, where this is in the young person’s best interests and welfare.
As a rule the information which you and your child provide will only be shared with your family’s consent. However there may be certain times when the people working with you need to share information.
• When they need to find out urgently if a child is at risk of harm;
• To help a child who is at risk of harm;
• When an adult is at risk of harm; or
• To help prevent or detect a serious crime.
Who is a co-ordinator?
If an Early Help Assessment is to be completed, you will choose who you would like to be the co-ordinator. This person will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you. The named professional will also co-ordinate all the services supporting your child. At Fairfield, our co-ordinators tend to be a member of the Safeguarding Team.
Our Early Help Officer (EHO) is Karen Ross (Allerdale & Copeland).