Referral for an Early Help Assessment
This section contains information about the referral process for families as part of an early help assessment.
Early help assessment (EHA)
An Early Help Assessment is defined as Multi-agency, support for children, young people and families where there are multiple issues using a Team Around the Family approach with an identified Lead Practitioner.
As outlined within the Early Help Strategy 2016-19, an Early Help assessment is where children, young people and their families require support from a multi-agency response at an early help threshold to prevent escalation of issues. Leicester City Council and their partners have adopted an approach to early help assessments being completed within an agencies own structure and processes. Lead Professionals/Practitioners adhere to the principles outlined below within Leicester’s Early Help Strategy 2016-19:
- Consent gained
- An assessment of need is undertaken with an action plan in place
- A focus on outcomes for children and their families
- A team around the family approach (whole family work) must be in place
- Regular review of the plan at least every 3 months
- Management oversight must be in place
We would advise that in the first instance, to call Leicester City Council Social Care and Early Help's One Number on 0116 454 1004 to talk to a professional about your request before completing a referral form.
Requesting a new early help assessment
Contact the One Number in the first instance to discuss the concerns with a professional, at this point you will be advised if you are required to complete a multi agency referral form (MARF).
A referral can be made by a young person aged over 16, a parent, carer or a professional.
Requesting support as part of an existing early help assessment
If you are already supporting a family as an EHA within your agency using the principles above but would like support from a range of other agencies, it is exactly the same process as above. It is important that you make it clear on the form that you are requesting support as part of an existing EHA in your agency.
Is there an Education Health Care Plan in place? (Mainstream Schools only)
If you have an EHC plan in place for a child but require support where there are wider issues, at an Early Help threshold then the EHC planning should incorporate EHA as part of a single planning process. Where there are issues that relate to other members of the family, it may be the case that there will be 2 plans:
- the EHC plan for the child; and
- an EHA that relates to the wider issues for the child and other members of their family.
There should be clear co-ordination between the plans to ensure joined up planning for the child and to avoid duplication. In these cases, schools will become the Lead Practitioner but can still access wider support as part of the EHA as outlined above. You just need to make it clear on the form that you are requesting support as part of an existing EHA in your agency.
If you are member of staff for Leicester City Council and have full access to the Early Help Module, this can be done via Liquid Logic.
Your request will then be sent to the Early Help Partnership Allocations Hub for allocation to an agency to take on the role of Lead Practitioner or for professionals to become part of an existing EHA. Where there are families who need support in the interim whilst a decision is made, they will be supported through the council’s Advice Point.
You can access the council’s early help wider offer for Children Centre’s and Family Support on our Family Information website and other council early help services such as the Youth Service and Connexions on the MyChoice website.
This information can also be found on the Council's early help webpages
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