Assessments for early help and social care
Assessments can be completed by a range of services including health, social care and education. Assessments are carried out with families to understand their strengths and needs.
Early Help assessment
An Early Help assessment is a way to help identify the needs of children, young people and families and to make a plan to meet those needs. All services that work with children and young people; whether in the council, community or voluntary sectors, should use the same method for assessing and understanding needs. Its purpose is to provide a co-ordinated response so no-one misses out on the support they may need.
This is an assessment carried out by a social worker and is used to determine if a child is in need of services. Information is gathered from family members, including children and other people who know the child, such as teachers, health visitors and doctors.
There is an expectation that any assessment completed includes and reflects parent’s and carer’s wishes and feelings as well as those of the child.
Parent and carers of children under 18 years now have a stand-alone right to services. To access these services a Parent Carers Needs assessment will need to be carried out.
Wherever possible this assessment will be completed as part of a Child and Family Assessment or an Early Help Assessment rather than an additional assessment of the same family.
Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
An EHC plan is a document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. The plan is drawn up by the Council after an EHC needs assessment.
EHC plans are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting.