How should families including children be involved in early help assessments?
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A local threshold document should explain the measures used in the local area to decide what help children can receive.
The threshold document (or the measures in it) may be called ‘eligibility criteria’ in some local areas. Slightly different measures or ‘thresholds’ apply in different parts of England.
The early help process should be explained clearly to the family by the lead practitioner before it begins.
The lead practitioner is the person who will do the assessment to work out what help is needed. They may be a:
- School nurse
- Health visitor
- Another practitioner.
Involving the family
The government guidance makes clear that:
- Early help assessments should involve the child and family
- The assessment should involve anyone who is working with the child and family
- The assessment should consider the child’s age, the family circumstances and the wider community context in which they are living.
This is all set out in Working Together 2018 at page 15, paragraph 10.
The lead practitioner should work with the family.
- Parents and carers should be able to discuss their views about the services and support they would find helpful
- Families should have the chance to discuss this with any of the practitioners involved
- The assessment should take account of the child’s wishes and feelings wherever possible
- Parents and carers should be involved in drawing up any early help plan.