What is Early Help?
Early Help is a term used for all the organisations and services that support children and families when they start to experience a bit of difficulty in their lives.
For example, a parent may start to find their child’s behaviour is becoming challenging and this starts to impact on other relationships in the family. A parent might try out a few ideas to help improve things but if this doesn’t work they will seek some help and advice from a professional. This might include practitioners from health, education or the local authority such as:
- A health visitor
- A GP or family doctor
- A practice nurse
- A member of Getset or a children’s centre
- A Parent and Family Support Advisor
- A school nurse
All of these people provide Early Help which means they want to help parents sort things out before they get worse.
An Early Help Assessment (EHA)
When a parent or carer visits a professional for Early Help, depending on the level of need, they may have to complete an Early Help Assessment. This is a form which will allow the practitioner to collect all the information they need to get a clear picture of the situation so that they can find the best support available. If a practitioner can help the family to sort things out without support from any other agency then they will not complete an EHA. However, if other professionals need to get involved then the only way to share information is through an Early Help Assessment and it means that parents don't have to keep re-telling their situation to different people over and over again.