EHM frequently asked questions


The Early Help assessment should be used when:

  • the child or young person has additional needs which cannot be met by the child, the family or the assessing one agency alone
  • the child or young person’s needs are unclear or broader than the remit of the practitioner’s service
  • a Early Help Assessment would help identify needs and/or get others to meet them
  • there is more than one agency actively involved and an Early Help Assessment will provide a common structure to record and share information between practitioners and to co-ordinate support more effectively
  • a child or young person or their parent/carer raises a concern with you using the CAF process
  • For a child / young person who is progressing well;
  • For children / young people who have a clear additional need where that need can be met by the existing service without the need for a comprehensive assessment;
  • For situations where an immediate statutory or specialist assessment is needed.
  • it is self-evident that a specialist statutory assessment is necessary, because the child is at risk of significant harm, in which case, you must follow your safeguarding procedures and refer to the MASH Team Tel: 0345 140 0845 or complete the online referral form on the Report a child at risk pages.

All practitioners working across Sefton's children’s workforce should be aware of situations when a Early Help should be considered. They should be able to complete an Early Help Assessment as a way of working alongside children and families to gather information, identify needs and strengths, plan support and review change.

The purpose of the Team Around the Family review is to:

  • gain a fuller picture of the child’s needs and situation, ensuring that relevant information is obtained from all involved
  • decide if further information is still required and agree how this will be obtained
  • identify the child’s current needs
  • ascertain current response to the child’s needs
  • agree achievable goals with the child/young person/parent/carer and practitioners involved
  • agree what further actions should take place, by whom and by when, in order to meet the child’s needs and achieve the set goals
  • consider if there are any additional services which may need to be involved
  • agree how everyone will know when things have improved (focusing on the Every Child Matters positive outcomes)
  • consider if following this meeting and completion of the Early Help Assessment whether the process should now end (i.e. that the assessment process has enabled the child’s needs to be better understood and enabled their needs to be adequately met). Or decide whether the process should continue, because further understanding of the child’s needs is still required and a support package will need to be planned and monitored
  • convening and running the Team Around the Family reviews to ensure a coordinated approach regarding the delivery of services
  • ensuring that the family and relevant practitioners have a copy of the plan after each review
  • ensuring that the most up to date assessment or TAF Action Plan is sent to the central EIP Gateway email address (EIP.Gateway@sefton.gov.uk) if you do not have access to EHM yet.
  • monitoring the action plan, and tracking the outcomes for the child
  • securely storing the signed original of the assessment and TAF Action Plans
  • ability to convene effective single and inter-agency reviews and initiate discussion with relevant practitioners
  • understanding of child and young person’s strengths and needs.
  • Lead Practitioner training is available
  • Support for Lead Practitioners is available from your Early Help Locality Leads or from the Early Help Gateway (EIP.Gateway@sefton.gov.uk)
  • A Lead Practitioner forum is held every 2 months where practitioners can share best practice, provide feedback on the role, discuss difficulties and help shape the role for the future. 

Until you have access to eCAF you should send any completed CAF Assessments, TAF Action Plans or other relevant information about a child, young person or family to EIP.Gateway@sefton.gov.uk

Once you have completed the Assessor Training you will be provided with details about online EHM training.

There will be a phased roll out of EHM which will incorporate all services working with children, young people and families in Sefton. In addition to training there will be monthly workshops available to support staff using EHM.

There will be a phased roll out of eCAF which will incorporate all services working with children, young people and families in Sefton.  In addition to training there will be monthly workshops available to support staff using eCAF.


Last Updated on 16 December 2015

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