What is an Early Help Assessment (EHA)?

Find about more about what an EHA is, and how it can help you as a parent, child or professional.
Early Help Assessment (EHA) has replaced the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

If you're a parent, young person or child

An Early Help Assessment (EHA) is a form and process you and/or a professional working with your family can complete when:

  • something is worrying you or someone else about your child/ young person.
  • your child or young person has some unmet needs and early intervention will avoid the problem getting worse.
  • Your child, young person or your family need some extra support, which can't be given by current professional involvement, family or network.

An EHA looks at:

  • any worries or complications
  • what's working well and the positive differences already happening
  • the current network of support from family, friends and professionals
  • the children and young people's views, captured appropriately for their age
  • what extra support is needed

What support could I get through an EHA?

The assessment helps understand the issues and make a plan. Sometimes the network of family and friends or a single agency (like a school) can provide the needed support. Other times, short-term extra support is needed. In those cases, the assessment can refer the family to the Family Support Teams at Suffolk County Council.

If the assessment shows early intervention would help, the Family Support Teams can work with the whole family. This helps create positive, sustainable change to build resilience while maintaining safety.

The Family Support Teams typically offer interventions around:

  • secure parent/child attachments
  • building safety within the family
  • supporting children and young people to understand their lived experiences and address complex family dynamics
  • identifying and addressing neglect

If you're a professional

The Early Help Assessment (EHA) helps professionals identify support a family may need early on. The goal is to help families before they reach a crisis point. The EHA looks at the whole family's needs so everyone can get support. Any practitioner can start an EHA if they see a family needs extra help. Getting multiple agencies involved can make a real difference for families and makes sure everyone's needs are considered.

What does this mean in practice?

Use the EHA when:

  • you're worried a child has unmet needs that could get worse without early help
  • a child or parent raises a concern
  • a child's or young person's needs are unclear
  • multiple agencies are likely needed to meet the child's needs

The assessment can map out the family's worries and needs. It can look at existing support and what's working well already. As a professional, consider the child's network of family, friends, and other professionals too.

You can read more information about the Early Help Assessment.

If more support is needed beyond the current network, submit an EHA through the CYP Portal to request additional services.