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Early help assessment - what is it, who should complete it and when?

"Children and families may need support from a wide range of local agencies. Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These early help assessments should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989." (Working together to safeguard children)

The early help assessment is used to help practitioners gather and understand information about the strengths and needs, based on discussions with the family. The holistic assessment identifies the most appropriate way to meet those needs.

Practitioners in universal or targeted early help services can complete an early help assessment on their own or with the support of the Early Help Coordination Hub. The early help assessment can be completed to identify those who could be at the team around the family meeting or completed with those at the meeting.

For example, something will have triggered you to recognise a possible need in a child or young person. It may be a change in their behaviour, an action, consequence or something which alerts you. Often you will then need to seek further information to help clarify the problems or issue, and prevent needs from escalating. When an early help assessment has been completed, practitioners are able to see the family's needs holistically and not fragmented. It is important to check if an early help assessment or team around the family is already in place for the family to ensure you are working together. You can do this by contacting your local Early Help Coordination Hub.

Completed early help assessments

Copies of the signed and completed early help assessments should be sent to your local Early Help Coordination Hub via secure post or email. Please confirm in your email, or the signature box of the assessment, that you have kept the original documentation in your office.

The Early Help Coordination Hub will store this information on our system and will confirm receipt in writing, including a reference number and any feedback.

Please note: You need to gain written consent from the child, young person, parent or carer before submitting an early help assessment. If an early help assessment has not been signed, it will not be logged into our system and the Early Help Coordination Hub will make contact with you to follow up.

Contact details

Please send or email your completed assessment to your area Early Help Coordination Hub (EHCH):

North west EHCH
(Runnymede, Surrey Heath, Woking)
Address: Surrey County Council, Quadrant Court, Guildford Road, Woking GU22 7QQ

South west EHCH
(Guildford, Waverley)
Address: Surrey County Council, St Francis Centre, Southway, Guildford GU2 8WZ

North east EHCH
(Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell)
Address: Surrey County Council Fairmount House, Bull Hill, Leatherhead KT2 7AH

South east EHCH
(Mole Valley, Tandridge, Reigate & Banstead)
Address: Surrey County Council, Consort House, 5-7 Queensway, Redhill RH1 1YB

You can also contact the EHCHs for advice and support with using the early help assessment.

Files available to download