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3.1.2 Families First Assessment and Early Help Module


This chapter describes the Families First Assessment and Early Help Process with links to the current guidance located on the Hertfordshire Council website. Access to the log in page is for professionals and partners. If you do not have the log in details, please choose the ‘Request log In Details’ option.


Please read in conjunction with Initial Contacts and Referrals to Targeted Youth Support (TYS) Procedure


This chapter was fully revised in September 2018 and should be re-read.

Families First Assessment is our Early Help assessment tool. The Early Help Module (EHM) is a multi-agency case recording and management system that we use for Families First Assessment case work. 

These have replaced Family CAF and eCAF system which are no longer in use.

Families First Assessment (FFA) is used by practitioners who work with children, young people, parents and carers. It's used to identify needs, and to organise the right support and services to address those needs at an early stage. The FFA process allows different agencies and services to share information and work together in a coordinated way. FFAs are voluntary, and require consent from parents or carers before they can begin.

The FFA process is designed to address needs which require a multi-agency response. FFA can and should be started by any practitioner who has identified additional needs amongst any of the children, young people or families that they work with. The FFA process uses a "whole family" approach, which allows everyone's needs in the family to be taken into account, in order to make a lasting difference.

The Families First Interactive Process Map tells you more about the process.

Starting a Families First Assessment

If you're a practitioner and need to use the Early Help Module (EHM) system, you'll need to register by filling in a new EHM user form. You must have completed EHM system training before you can use the system.

Once you receive confirmation that you've been registered, you can fill in a Families First Assessment Family registration form for the family you wish to assess.

Completed, forms should be sent to

Please note: Access to the Families First and Early Help Module via the Early Help Information for Professionals is only accessible for professionals via the Log in Page.