Early Help Assessment (EHA)
A Guide for Parents
The aim is to identify, at the earliest opportunity, a child or young person’s additional needs which are not being met by the universal services they are receiving, and provide timely and co-ordinated support to meet these needs.
Sometimes your child may need extra support. It could be before they are born, when they are very young or when they are at school.
The Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a way of working out what extra support your child may need. It involves meeting with practitioners to make sure you only have to tell your story once and that help is provided as quickly and effectively as possible. With your agreement, practitioners have a conversation with you to identify your child's needs and strengths.
The EHA assessment record outlines what is going well for your family, what extra support may be needed and which practitioners may be best placed to help.
Working with you
The EHA is voluntary. Other times, someone who knows you and your child may suggest a EHA to ensure you get the right support if it's needed. You also have a say in which worker you want to help coordinate your action plan. This worker is usually called your lead professional.
The EHF action plan, agreed with you and your family, is put in place to make sure you all get the right support.
The plan brings together the practitioners working with you, this could be your health visitor, your child's teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at the school, a speech and language therapist or any other practitioners who work with children and families. This way of working together is called a Team Around the Child (TAC) or Team Around the Family. We will work with you to find solutions and meet any needs that are identified.
At Marshfields, if you decide to go ahead, you will meet with one of our EHA trained staff (Debbie Drane or Paula Elton) to complete an on-line enquiry form. By completing this, it becomes clearer what support might help. This is decided directly between yourself and the EHA lead* at the meeting. Nothing is forced. It is a mutually agreed decision based on our shared knowledge and experience of your child, and our links with other agencies who might be of help support the difficulties outlined.
You can speak directly to Paula Elton about getting help through the EHA.
* The EHA lead completes the EHA enquiry form with you, but does not necessarily have to become the Lead Professional in the future.