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Early Help Assessment - Guidance for Parents

Early Help Information for Parents - Northamptonshire

Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.


A family may need early help support if they have a child who:

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs
  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan)
  • is a young carer
  • is showing signs of being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups 
  • is frequently missing or goes missing from care or from home
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
  • has returned home to their family from care
  • is a privately fostered child
  • Parenting support is needed

How does it work?

The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a simple way to help identify the needs of children and families and make a plan to meet those needs. Its purpose is to provide a co-ordinated response so no-one misses out on the support they need. It is used by all agencies in Northamptonshire who are delivering early help to the families they work with.

The EHA can be used to support children and young people between 0 to 19 years, including unborn babies, and can also be used with consent up to the age of 24 (where a young person has a learning difficulty or disability). ‚Äč




Early Help – The Process

  1. First, after gaining your consent we will begin by assessing the needs of the family.  This is usually done by talking to different members of the family to see what is going well and what areas they need more support with.  The areas covered are:
  • home life
  • education
  • social/community
  • health and wellbeing
  • work

Some of these areas my seem unnecessary to you, however, the Early Help Assessment is designed to cover a wide range of needs and is also used to celebrate what is going well in your family. 

  1. Following the Early Help Assessment (EHA), as a team, we will plan how to meet the needs you have identified and form them into an action plan. The EHA might identify needs which our school can’t meet on its own. In this case we will need other professionals or services to help. Your consent will enable us to share your details with those relevant support agencies in order to provide the best possible help for your family.
  2. Once the action plan has been written, we will hold regular Team Around the Family meetings (TAF).  The TAF meeting brings together a range of different professionals to support the family following the EHA. The purpose is to bring people with specialist knowledge together to work out how best to support your family.  The family and where suitable the child or young person should attend and their voice should be central to the meeting.
  3. Action Plan completed. When the family and services agree all the actions on the action plan have been achieved, and further additional support is no longer required the Early Help Assessment is closed.