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Early Help

The Early Help Service works in partnership with other professionals, parents and carers to intervene early in a child’s life to ensure that children have the best start in life. The service works with families that need additional help, to enable them to access this support when they need it. The aim is to address problems at the earliest opportunity - before they can escalate - and to enable families to support their children to reach their full potential.

Early intervention may occur at any point in a child or young person’s life. The Early Help approach is underpinned by an Early Help assessment and a team around the family meeting. Early Help supports families with children and young people aged 0 to 19 and up to 25 with a disability.

The Early Help Assessment for parents and carers

The EHA, formally known as CAF, is a way of working with children and young people. It invlolves listening to you and your child to find out your child's needs, and what is working well in your child's life.

An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is also put in place to make sure your child gets the right sort of help.

The EHA is voluntary - you and your child can choose to be involved.

How will the EHA help my family?

The EHA exists to help you support your child.

It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed.

The EHA will ensure that everyone involved with your child, such as teachers and health visitors, works together to support your child. The EHA will help your child receive the right support at an early stage before their needs increase. As the EHA is a shared assessment, you and your child will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.

When is the EHA used?

The EHA can be used if you or someone who works with your child would like your child to receive extra support. It will help to identify your child's additional needs and who can best provide that support to your family.

How does it work?

If you and your child agree, a worker will ask you and your child some questions to find out what help and support your child might need. This information is recorded on a simple form. You and your child will agree what is put on the form, and you will be given a copy of it.

Older children may feel able to discuss their situation on their own with the worker. A young person's wish to keep information confidential from parents may be respected by the worker where this is in the young person's best interests and welfare.

What happens next?

Based on the information you and your child provide, the worker can begin to complete an action plan with you and all those who can help your child. This may take place straight away, or the worker may need to make some enquiries and contact you again. If there are needs which may be met by a number of services, a Team Around the Child (TAC) will be formed. Normally only those who need to know about your child will share the information.

What is a Team Around the Child (TAC)?

A TAC is a group of people who provide support to your child and who will work together to ensure all their needs are met in a coordinated manner.

What is a lead professional?

If a number of people are providing support to your child, one of these people may be appointed as a lead professional.

This person will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you. The named worker will also coordinate all the services supporting your child.

You and your child will have a say in who should be the lead professional.

Confidentiality

As a rule, the information that you and your child provide will only be shared with your family's consent. However, there may be occasions where the people working with you need to share information such as

  • When a child is at risk of harm;
  • When adult is at risk of harm
  • To help prevent or detect a serious crime

Contact Early Help

If you feel Early Help could assist you then you can contact us using the below details.

Who to contact

Telephone
020 8496 1517
E-mail
earlyhelp@walthamforest.gov.uk

Local Offer

SEN Provision Type
Targeted
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