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What is Families First?

Families First Early Help Module (EHM) System - replaces the eCAF with the Families First Assessment (FFA) - November 2016

Families First is changing the way services provide early help to families in Hertfordshire, bringing together organisations who provide early help support to families under one 'umbrella' of consistent practice and clearer processes.

A key element of this change is the transition from the Family eCAF system to Families First Early Help Module (EHM), a multi-agency system, which will replace Family eCAF system as the Early Help System for case management.

For details of your local CAF/Families First Coordinator and the support that they can provide, please refer to the website:

Common Assessment Framework

For information on the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Team Around the Family (TAF) and Lead Professional, including CAF Form and Practitioner Guidance:



Meeting the Needs of Children and Families in Hertfordshire

In Hertfordshire we continue to develop integrated practice, building on how services work together to safeguard and support children and families. With a shared understanding of service thresholds this document provides further guidance around the types of need requiring a specialist service and those requiring a targeted service, including the use of the Family CAF (Common Assessment Framework) or Graded Care Profile

The needs of children and families change over time and may require a continuum of support from different services. There is no substitute for professional judgement and discussion with others and this guidance aims to assist families, practitioners and managers in determining presenting levels of need and to consider the appropriate response at the right time, by the right service.

All practitioners working with and on behalf of children and families need to take responsibility for ensuring everything possible is done to seek early intervention and to prevent unnecessary escalation of issues or problems. All services working with a family should consider the needs of the whole family and ensure that they refer or signpost the family to the most appropriate adult or children’s services. This document aims to provide guidance about thresholds to help ensure that the right response is given, by the right services, at the right time.

Download a pdf version of the handbook below:

Meeting the Needs of Children and Families in Hertfordshire




Early Help Module/CAF Forms & Guidance

All the EHM and Common Assessment Framework forms and supporting tools are available on Please visit this site regularly to ensure that you have the latest version of the forms and procedures:

CAF forms can also be accessed on schools SIMS system:

Child Protection Referral Form and Service Request Forms

The forms and guidance are available at :

Advice on generating the single service request form from can be found on the SITSS web pages at:



Thriving Families

Thriving Families is a holistic, intensive, family intervention service. It is an integral part of Hertfordshire County Council’s early intervention and prevention strategy. The Thriving Families teams work in partnership with agencies such as the police, housing associations and job centres, to improve the lives of the families they support.

The level and type of support provided is tailored to each family’s situation following a whole family assessment and the development of an agreed action plan which may include support with:

  • Thriving families increasing parenting skills
  • improving school attendance
  • training to help find a job
  • housing support
  • money / debt management
  • support with substance abuse.

One parent described how the support she received from Thriving Families helped
turn her life around:

“It was hard, being a single mum and moving to a new home. I was getting regular complaints from neighbours but my Thriving Families support worker helped me to get back on top of things. I could call her whenever I needed and we had regular meetings. As time went on and things improved, the meetings became less frequent but I always knew she was there at the end of the phone.

“I would recommend Thriving Families because of the support, the confidence and the self-esteem they gave me. Thriving Families helped me to stand on my own two feet.”

For more information: