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Hertfordshire County Council

About the EHM module

The Early Help Module (EHM) is a multi-agency case recording and management system that is used for recording all early help interventions and supports the Families First processes in Hertfordshire. It is a case management and recording system used for planning, coordinating and improving outcomes for families supported outside of Social Care and recording case notes.

It is used for recording assessments and casework for and from Families First Triage and Triage Panels; Families First Assessments, Team Around the Family and case work; Young Carers Registrations; Families First Action and Impact Meetings; Families First Short-term pieces of work; Children’s Centre Workflow; Early Help Advice Line and Graded Care Profile.

The system is be used by Families First partners and provide a secure environment for consent based joint working to co-ordinate support across partners. It will also be used to evidence the early help support and offer, and the difference, and impact of improved outcomes to children and families in Hertfordshire, delivered by Families First practitioners and partners.

The EHM system helps you to electronically record, store and share FFA information securely, with the consent of the child or young person and/or their parent/carer. It can also be used to record all ongoing work with the family and to support identified needs through the case notes facility on EHM. Please use the case note within the episode to record all work with the family or individual family members as part of the family plan.  Members of your TAF can also be given access so they can update their own progress with any actions, including any direct work with the family directly on EHM system. This will help you to work together more effectively across geographic and organisational borders when supporting a child or young person and their family.

It is important to ensure that your case note recording is based on evidence and factual information only. Please do not copy and paste email discussions into a child or family case note. For example, email discussion to identify support for the family should not be copied and added to the case note.

Early Help Module (EHM) System Access

If you are a practitioner and need to use the Early Help Module (EHM) system, you will need to complete the EHM system training and register as a trained user by completing the EHM user form  and once you are registered, you will also need to agree to the Hertfordshire EHM system ICT user agreement before you can use EHM system. Further details on how to access EHM system training and EHM User Guide are available in the document store.

Early Help Module (EHM) System Users – Case Recording, Case Notes and Alerts

It is important for practitioners using EHM to note that, within EHM, there are two types of case notes options available to users – General case notes and case notes within an episode.

General Case Note Alerts in EHM
This can only be used by Customer Service Centre, Families First Triage team, MASH and Families First Partnerships, Practice & Development team.

As the Keyworker, you will be alerted to anything that happens with the case, any contact made to Children’s Services, any Case Note added, DV alerts, Referrals and the outcome of a referral, which could lead to a case being stepped up due to the information received or you may be alerted as the Keyworker with direction on what to do – e.g. discuss with family or ensure issue is addressed through current support etc. The alerts you receive as a Keyworker are through general notes.

All general notes are reviewed by Families First Triage team who will add a case direction. This will be picked up and followed up by a Senior or Families First Coordinator, who will contact you to check you have received the alert, remind you that you have an alert that requires action or offer support following case direction received from Families First Triage team.  Sometimes you may receive a case note alert relating to an issue regarding a family you are supporting, that you are already aware of, and the issue is being addressed through the Family Action Plan. This is because the issue may have been raised to Children’s Services by another professional or a member of the public etc. who does not know that the family is receiving support through an FFA and TAF.

As the Keyworker you should ensure that you are reading and responding to these or carrying out any directions given. These will usually to be to discuss referrals/notifications with family and ensure that these are addressed at TAF Meetings.

Whilst we are aware that as Keyworker you do not use the system on a daily basis, you should be mindful of this, especially if you are aware that you are working with a particularly vulnerable family, and check EHM system regularly for any updates that may have been added. Your local Senior or Families First Coordinators will contact you if there is a case note alert that requires urgent action, or even send you an email to ask you to log-in into EHM to check your case alert, where there is important additional or new information on your case.

If you are concerned about any case note alert that you have received as a Keyworker or have a query about a case note alert or would like advice or support to progress a case note direction, please contact your local Senior or Families First Coordinators.


  • General Notes is always added to a child’s record
  • When checking a General Notes alert, you must always check the child’s record in the FFA episode on EHM
  • General notes is access to all to read so not recommended for day to day case work recording.

Case Notes within an Families First Assessment (FFA) episode – Where and When to record Information

Case notes within the Families First episode (this can be within FFA, short-term work etc.), where you are the initiator or Keyworker of the FFA or short-term work is restricted to the episode, therefore, only people with access to the episode will be able to see case notes within an FFA episode (Keyworker and TAF members if they have been given access by the Keyworker).

Case notes is a record of your and TAF members ongoing work with the family or a child or parent if undertaking individual short-term work. It enables the Keyworker and TAF members to evidence any contact with the family or about the family as part of implementing the family plan (e.g. record of telephone calls, visits, emails, documents, meetings, discussions etc.). It provides an up to date evidence of support being provided to the family, ensures relevant and up to date information on the family and ensures effective information sharing between professionals and TAF members (can provide up on their action with the family) as appropriate, and importantly, will also provide up to date chronology of support offered to the family and can assist in cases where family’s needs have escalated and needs to be stepped up or submitted to Action and Impact for discussion or where a family is moving between settings or out of county etc – case notes will provide evidence of support offered and the level of engagement or not of the family, which will assist in circumstances where you need to escalate a case.

EHM is a case management system – that enables practitioners to evidence their work with families, so use it to evidence your work with the family, including contacts, key communications from and to family, and key documents e.g. letters, referrals or emails to and from other services to evidence requests for support or feedback on progress or support being given to the family can be added too, evidence of progress, challenges etc.


  • Case notes should be added within the Families First episode and
  • Can only be accessed by those with access to the episode (Keyworker and TAF members where access is given)
  • Case notes can assist with step up process or evidence increased needs or non-engagement as well as progress etc.
  • Case notes ensures all relevant information is being shared with all professionals working with the family
  • Case notes is an effective way of evidencing the support offered to the family and their level of engagement with you and coordinated support services.

Families First Assessment (FFA) Episode and Toggling – Information for Keyworkers

Toggling is a key feature within Families First Assessment on EHM. It enables the Initiator or Keyworker to clearly identify individual needs of family members. This is especially important where a need is only applicable to say a single or some members of the family and not the whole family. For example, where a young person is identified as a young carer in the family to a parent. Toggling allows you to ungroup the family, and only associate young carer with the young person undertaking caring role in the family. It is important that we are able to reflect and record accurately the collective as well as the individual needs of family members. These needs are reported on as part of evidencing early help support provided to families, so for correct and accurate data collection we need to ensure they are recorded correctly.

To record information for family members individually, before selecting the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ buttons, click on the ‘Toggle group’ on the right side of page.  This will show the family members’ names by the question allowing them to be separated.  

  • Clicking on a family member will separate them. For example in Families First Assessment (Section B – How are things at the moment?) – This is the needs led part of the assessment, if there is a need please ensure that the toggle answering group is used before saying yes.
  • Complete this process for each of the need criteria.

Further guidance is available in the Early Help Module (EHM) – How to Guides (use password Hertfordshire to open the PDF document) - found in the document store.

You can also contact your Local Senior Families First Co-ordinator or Families First Co-ordinator for advice, guidance and support on EHM or Families First process.

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