Bromley have moved away from ‘CAF’ terminology to replace it with ‘Early Help Assessment’ (EHA). The EHA terminology better reflects the purpose of the assessment as it is designed to support families at an early stage before a small need becomes a larger one. As part of the changes to Bromley’s ‘Front Door’, which is now known as the Children and Families Hub, the Early Intervention and Family Support Service will no longer act as a central depository for EHAs authored by partners. As with CAF, the ethos of the Early Help Assessment model is that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.
EHAs should incorporate strength based holistic assessment of children’s needs leading to a coordinated support plan. There must be informed consent from the parent/carer and the voice of the child should be clear.
Parents and carers should be able to approach the professionals working with them to request early help support via an EHA, and professionals should enable this. Agencies now have the freedom to capture the early help needs of a family within their own assessment template or they can choose to use the EHA form which is also available from the Children and Families Hub.
What will happen to existing CAF plans?
In respect of all current open CAF plans, we expect the Lead Professional to continue to support the child and family and arrange Team Around the Family meetings as required. The Team Around the Family (TAF) model of working remains strongly encouraged under the EHA model.
Sharing information is essential to provide effective multi-agency partnership working with children, young people, and families and EHAs should ensure that consent is obtained and reviewed in a model that works in partnership alongside the family. Where services are required to support a family, the Children and Families Hub may ask for sight of early help assessments, plans, and outcomes as the ‘Front Door’ model evolves into a single point of contact to support families.