Early Help Assessment FAQs
Why is CAF no longer being used in Bromley?
Whilst the terminology of ‘CAF’ is changing to ‘Early Help Assessment’ (EHA) the ethos of CAF will remain in that agencies will be expected to complete an EHA where they feel that a child or family would benefit from one. The EHA should include a holistic assessment of need with the child at the centre. Following the completion of the EHA an action plan, agreed by the family, should be put place and monitored to ensure that it is effective. Sometimes it will be helpful to hold a multi-agency meeting, including the family, so that information can be shared to enable everyone to plan the next steps together. This meeting will continue to be referred to as a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting.
Where will I send the EHA once completed?
There will no longer be a database where EHAs are captured as there is no statutory duty to collate this information. However, where the child/family require a referral to EIFS Bromley Children Project for either 1-1 support via a family support and parenting practitioner or Light Touch you can send the EHA to the Children and Families Hub to access those services.
The Children and Families Hub is being developed as a ‘single point of contact’ allowing for all contacts to be triaged, assessed, and allocated appropriately. As the Hub develops, phase 3 will bring together other remaining referral routes for early help services delivered by partner agencies (planned from September 2023).
Is there any support and advice available for professionals completing EHAs?
You can contact the Children and Families Hub to seek advice where you require this. The Children and Families Hub can provide you with an impartial consultation without the need for you to share details of the child/family, although clearly sharing those details will enable better and clearer advice as the team would be able to review what is already known about a child/family.
Is there a form to complete an EHA?
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 currently open CAFs?
The Lead Professional should continue to support the child/family as they have been doing under the CAF and arrange Team Around the Family meetings as required (TAF).
The Lead Professional will no longer need to share the minutes of those meetings with the CAF team.
Those CAFs currently open on the CAF database will be noted as having been converted into EHAs and closed down on the system.
There will be no need to inform the CAF team if those EHAs close or transfer to new Lead Professional.
The CAF team will not send out any update request letters in relation to these EHAs, they will be left with the Lead Professional to manage.
How can I check whether an Early Help assessment is already in place for a child/family to avoid duplication?
You would need to talk to the family to provide you with this information, or with the consent of the family contact the other professionals already involved with the child/family.
If the child/young person’s case is open to Children’s Social Care you would not complete an EHA but instead liaise with the allocated social worker. You can check this with the Children and Families Hub.
Will Early Help assessments have a named Lead Professional?
A Lead Professional is the person responsible for co-ordinating the actions identified in the assessment and therefore an EHA will still need to have someone in that role to ensure the plan is implemented and reviewed.