Early Help Assessment and Plan
If you are a family experiencing difficulty with a particular issue – in the first instance, you should tell someone and ask for help. Tell a teacher or family worker at your child’s school, speak to your health visitor or GP, or to a worker at your local children’s centre, or any other professional who may be able to give you guidance.
You can also call the Family Information Service on (020) 8825 5588 for advice.
If your difficulty or concern can be met by one service or organisation you can ask for help directly. For example: if you have concerns about a child being bullied – the school should be able to help. If you have a concern about your child’s speech and language, your child’s nursery, school or your GP can help you get a speech and language assessment for your child.
However, if you are living with a number of concerns and difficulties, a good way to be able to express them all and ask for help is to have an Early Help Assessment and Plan (EHAP) carried out for you.
This is a process whereby a few professionals from services you are likely to need help from, meet with you and your child to discuss what your needs are and how they are affecting your child’s life and development. The meeting is called a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting.
Using the EHAP process means you only need to go through one assessment of need and you are fully involved in deciding what help and support you need. You will be given a contact person to keep in touch with and a plan of what help will be given, by whom and by when.
The EHAP is a completely voluntary process which you can opt out of at any time.
To find out more, ask a professional you are comfortable with and in touch with about it such as at your child’s school. The council's Family Information Service can help you find a professional to support you or even start an EHAP for you so please get in touch.
Family Information Service
Tel: (020) 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
The important thing is to do something about a concern or problem as soon as it comes up so that help can be given early to ensure the best possible result.