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Families First Assessment / Early Help Module

Families First is a whole system, countywide multi-agency response to supporting family outcomes at a local level. It brings together organisations who provide early help services under one umbrella of consistent practice and clear processes.


Local advice, guidance and practice support for practitioners


There is a named Senior Families First Co-ordinator and Families First Co-ordinator covering each double district (local hub) to champion, promote and support effective use of Families First Assessments. They also provide information, advice, guidance and practice support on the Families First delivery model, processes and Early Help Module (EHM) system.


Please contact your local Senior or Families First Coordinators if you are experiencing any difficulties or require information, advice, guidance and practice support on Families First processes, tools and Early Help Module system.


We can support you with the following:

  • When and how to initiate a Families First Assessment, including how to progress a Families First episode effectively
  • How to complete the Families First Assessment, Action Plan and Review forms
  • Ensuring the strengths and views of the whole family including the voice of the child and young person are embedded into the process
  • How to create the Team Around the Family, including what services to involve
  • Support with Early Help Module tools and processes, ensuring these are used effectively to support you in your work with families
  • Instigating initial Families First Assessments for identified cases and identifying an appropriate Keyworker for the family
  • Contacting a Keyworker where a case note has been added to an open episode on EHM that requires their attention to progress through the open FFA episode
  • Support you with complex cases including those stepped down from Children's Services
  • Follow-on coaching/bespoke training in all areas of the Families First/Early Help Module process
  • Support you to understand the Families First episode and Team Around the Family process
  • Support you with an open case that is not progressing, including brokering role between services and practitioners, and supporting you to take this to the local Action & Impact meetings for discussion and review


Families First Co-ordinators can attend and facilitate review meetings/Team Around the Family meetings where the Keyworker:

  • Is unfamiliar with or new to the Families First process
  • Is struggling to draw together the relevant professionals
  • Has concerns around the case and requires additional support


Support can be provided by telephone, email, one-to-one visits or team meetings if appropriate. Please see contact details below.


Remember, if in doubt about any aspects of Families First processes, tools, or EHM, please contact your local Senior Families First Co-ordinators.

Starting a Families First Assessment
If you are a practitioner and need to use the Early Help Module (EHM) system, you will need to register by filling in a new EHM user form. Once you receive confirmation that you have been registered, you can then fill in a Families First Assessment Family registration form for the family that you wish to assess.

Once completed, forms should be sent to:

Hertfordshire EHM System ICT User Agreement Notice

      You have been designated as a user of a Hertfordshire County Council IT system. Access to, and use of, the Families First EHM (Early Help Module) system and all data held on it is covered by legislation. This legislation includes:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990; and
  • The Human Rights Act 1998.

By using Families First EHM system you are agreeing to abide by the legal and procedural controls in place to protect EHM information and systems as listed below.

  1. I agree to use the EHM system and the information held on it in accordance with legislation and my own organisation's confidentiality, Data protection and security policies.
  2. I understand that I must not allow Hertfordshire's EHM screens to be viewed by unauthorised personnel particularly when logging in and when viewing sensitive data.
  3. I understand that I must lock my screen and logout of Hertfordshire EHM before leaving my desktop/laptop unattended. I will ensure my screen display is out of direct view of any third parties when I am accessing personal, sensitive, confidential or classified information
  4. I will not share information contained within the case I have access to unless it is with the explicit consent of the family or there is an overriding legal obligation.
  5. I understand that use of the EHM system is monitored for security and any suspected misuse or failure to observe required security measures as set out in this agreement will be investigated and that this may lead to disciplinary proceedings or legal actions.

Please note that by clicking to access Families First EHM (Early Help Module), you are agreeing to abide by the legal and procedural controls in place to protect EHM information and systems as listed above, and in line with Hertfordshire County Council and your own organisation's policies and procedures.

Access the Hertfordshire Families First EHM (Early Help Module).

Please visit the Families First EHM training page for full course details, training dates, and booking options.

Families First Early Help Module (EHM) system support contact

If you have any queries or need support with the Early Help Module system, please email the Families First Partnership, Practice and Development Team
Telephone: 01438 737575

For details of your local Families First Coordinator and the support that they can provide, please refer to the Families First Coordinators Contacts page.

If you have a query about Personalised commissioning, please use the contact details on the personalised commissioning page.

If you have any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person please use the following numbers:

  •     The Police: 999
  •     Children's Services (including out of hours): 0300 123 4043
  •     The Child Abuse Investigation Unit: via 101.This is a specialist team within the police with countywide responsibility for undertaking child protection investigations.

For further safeguarding information, please visit the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children's Board.

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