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Hertfordshire County Council


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. 

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.

Registering a family for a Families First Assessment on the EHM system

If you have attended EHM System Training and are a registered user on EHM, you can complete a Families First Assessment as part of your work with a family.

You must first register the family by filling in a Family Registration Form.

Completing the form:

  • All parts of the form are mandatory fields, meaning we need this information from you.  We will not be able to register the family for an FFA until we have all of this information. 
  • Once you have completed the form email it to
  • Once submitted, the form will be checked to ensure that all details are correct and if so, the form will be processed within 5 working days of receipt.  You can track your registration by calling 01438 737575.  Please note if the form is incomplete you will be contacted directly, remember missing information will cause a delay in registration.
  • Once the family registration is completed the Family will be assigned to you in your EHM Worktray for you to begin work. You will receive an email confirming when this has been completed.

It is the responsibility of all managers to notify the Supporting Families Practice Team when a member of staff leaves their position. Please email details to

Local advice, guidance and practice support for practitioners

There is a named Senior Families First Co-ordinator and Families First Co-ordinator covering each Quadrant to champion, promote and support effective use of Families First Assessments. They also provide Early Help Consultations for non safeguarding concerns, advice, guidance and practice support on  Families First Assessments and Early Help Module (EHM) system.

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

Families First EHM training

EHM system support

If you have any queries or need support with the Early Help Module system,  contact your local Senior or Families First Coordinators or the Supporting Families Practice Team on:


Phone:  01438 737575


FFA Personalised Commissioning:

Personalised Commissioning is an additional source of funding that can be applied for to help support children, young people and families who are being supported by a Families First Assessment.

Personalised Commissioning can be used to purchase goods or services which meet a need identified through the Families First Assessment process. These goods and services should support the child, young person or family to achieve the outcomes listed in the Team Around the Family Action Plan.

Who can make a request?

Only Keyworkers for active FFAs can make requests for Personalised Commissioning.

How can I make a request?

Requests need to be made through the EHM system within 2 weeks of a TAF Meeting having taken place and be clearly recorded within the minutes of the meeting and the  updated Action Plan.

Find out more with our Personalised Commissioning Keyworker Checklist

If you have any questions regarding Personalised Commissioning, please contact your local Senior or Families First Coordinator.


Phone: 01438 737575

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