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Early help assessment

Explains what Early Help Assessment information is available for professionals, parents/carers and young people and what training is available.  

What is the early help assessment (previously called the common assessment framework)?

The early help assessment was introduced in the East Riding in April 2016 to replace the common assessment framework (CAF). It is: 

  • a single holistic assessment for the whole family
  • a tool that enables practitioners to assess needs at an early stage
  • suitable for use with any child/young person (from minus 9 months - 19/24 years) that need support to meet their additional unmet needs
  • a tool that builds on the signs of safety (SOS) approach and takes account of strengths as well as needs 

When should an early help assessment be completed?

The early help assessment should be completed in the following circumstances:

  • If you are worried about how well a child/young person is progressing
  • If a child/young person or their parent/carer raises a concern with you
  • If the child/young person's needs are unclear or broader than your service can address.

What should the early help assessment do?

The early help assessment should:

  • support earlier intervention
  • improve co-ordination and multi-agency working
  • reduce bureaucracy for families
  • target services more appropriately thereby improving outcomes.

What does the early help assessment not do?

The early help assessment does not:

  • replace specialist assessments
  • automatically bring professionals together
  • guarantee access to services
  • replace statutory child protection processes.

What are the likely early help assessment outcomes?

Likely outcomes of a early help assessment are:

  • resolve concerns
  • actions agreed for single agency with parent/child
  • actions require a Team Around the Family multi-agency response with a Lead Professional agreed at the first meeting

What is a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting?

A TAF is a multi-agency meeting that takes place following the completion of an early help assessment.  It brings together the parent/carer, child/young person and professionals, identified in the early help assessment, to agree a single plan of support.  One of the outcomes of the first TAF meeting is to identify and agree the Lead Professional.

Team Around the Family meeting documentation:

TAF Record and Plan (word  138kb opens in new window)

TAF Agenda (word  50kb opens in new window)

TAF Attendance Record (word  72kb opens in new window)

TAF Agency Professional Report Form (word 108kb opens in new window)

TAF Young Person Report Form (word 124kb opens in new window)

TAF Child Report Form (word 35kb opens in new window)

TAF Parent/Carer Comments (word 109kb opens in new window) 

What do I do if I have concerns about a child?

This procedure is designed to help professionals understand what to do if they have concerns about a child and to discern whether the child has additional needs or needs that mean they have been or are likely to be significantly harmed.

In the East Riding we are clear that children with different levels of need will be responded to appropriately by the range of agencies who work with them. This procedure is designed to clarify how different levels of needs should be addressed and has been based on national government guidance.

Guidance for Threshold of Needs and Intervention (updated 2015) is now available for everyone who works with children, young people and their families in the east riding of Yorkshire.  It is about the way we can all work together, share information and take a child-centred approach. 

For further information please visit the East Riding Safeguarding Children's Board website:

East Riding Safeguarding Children's Board (external East Riding website) 

Who do I contact if I need further help with the early help assessment?

If you need advice to complete an early help assessment contact the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH) on:

Telephone: (01482) 395500.

If you have a general query or a query relating to the early help assessment please email:

Email: irt@eastriding.gcsx.gov.uk

Further free advice, guidance and information is available about all services for children aged 0-19 years old (up to 25 years old for young people with special needs) from the Families Information Service

Telephone: (01482) 396469 

Email: fish@eastriding.gov.uk

What about advice and support on information sharing?

Information sharing is key to the government's goal of delivering better, more efficient public services that are co-ordinated around the needs of children, young people and families. It is essential to enable early intervention and preventative work, for safeguarding and promoting welfare and for wider public protection. Information sharing is a vital element in improving outcomes for all.

More details are available on our Information Sharing pages. 

What early help assessment training is available?

A new programme of multi agency training is being developed and should be available in May/early June 2016.  We are currently setting up a waiting list for those wishing to attend training and will contact interested professionals once dates have been scheduled.

Please note: if you have previously completed CAF training, then you should not require any additional training in order to use the new assessment, although you are more than welcome to attend the new training as a refresher course.

How do I book onto a training course?

A new programme of multi agency training is being developed and should be available in May/early June 2016.  We are currently setting up a waiting list for those wishing to attend training and will contact interested professionals once dates have been scheduled.

Please note: if you have previously completed CAF training, then you should not require any additional training in order to use the new assessment, although you are more than welcome to attend the new training as a refresher course.

What does the training course cost?

Training places are free to all agencies and partner agencies within the East Riding.

What if I need to cancel my place?

If you need to cancel your place inform the Early Help & Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH) as soon as possible either by email, fax, phone or post as above.  Advance notice of cancellation will enable your place to be offered to someone else.

Who do I call if I have further queries on training?

For further assistance, information and any training enquiries please contact the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH):

Email: irt@eastriding.gcsx.gov.uk

Telephone: (01482) 395500