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Families First

Last updated on 14 May 2021

Families First Portal is a website which helps Hertfordshire families find:

  • information, advice and guidance on local and national services for families, parents or carers
  • many of the services are free for families to access
  • it is accessible on mobile devices 

Hertfordshire County Council: Families First Portal

The Families First newsletter brings together news, service updates and training opportunities from across the Families First Partnership. If you would like to receive a copy please subscribe here.

Hertfordshire Young Carers Support Service

Support for children and young people with caring responsibilities.

Hertfordshire recognise young carers as children and young people under the age of 18 years, who provide care to another family member, who has physical illness / disability; mental ill health; sensory disability or has a problematic use of drugs or alcohol. The level of care they provide would be usually taken on by an adult and as a result of this has significant impact on their normal childhood.

Hertfordshire County Council: Young Carers Support Service

Continuum of need

The Continuum of Need sets out the ‘Levels of Need’ experienced by children, young people and families in Hertfordshire, it offers clarity and support to partners working with them and at what level they should be leading on early support. It is intended to provide clarity to practitioners of the levels of need below the threshold for safeguarding and specialist services. The guidance document supports and underpins Families First and will assist practitioners in using assessments tools at different levels across the Continuum of Need and the associated processes to support working with the whole family and provide support at the earliest opportunity.

Families First Interactive Process Map

If you are aware of a family that lives in Hertfordshire and needs support, this toolkit enables you to make sure they receive the right kind of help. It asks a few simple questions about the family’s needs, existing support and your agency’s ability to engage with the family. It takes only a few minutes, and by the end of it you’ll know the support the family requires and who is best to deliver it.

Early help for professionals and practitioners

Professionals can find resources and information about Early Help on the Hertfordshire County Council website:

Hertfordshire County Council: Early help for professionals and practitioners

Families First Assessment (FFA)

Families First Early Help Module (EHM) system

Families First Assessment is the Hertfordshire County Council Early Help assessment tool. The Early Help Module (EHM) is a multi-agency case recording and management system that used for Families First Assessment case work.

Families First Partnerships, Practice and Development team

The help desk provides support for the Early Help Module (EHM) system for the whole of Hertfordshire. They can be contacted about:

  • EHM New User Form
  • EHM Family Registration Form
  • technical support for EHM system

Contact the Families First help desk

Tel: 01438 737575

Email: familiesfirstassessment@hertfordshire.gov.uk

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

Hertfordshire County Council: Family First Coordinators

Early Help Module (EHM) system

Please note you will only be given log in details once you have completed the EHM training and registered as a New User.

Hertfordshire County Council: Virtual EHM (Early Help Module) system training

EHM is the online system where information from assessments is stored securely. If you are a practitioner and wish to access EHM, please register by filling in the new user form, which can be found in the Forms, Documents and Guidance section on the Hertfordshire.gov.uk website. A guide on how to use EHM can also be found in the same section.

Hertfordshire County Council: Early Help Module (EHM) system access

Families First Assessment and Action plan forms can also be accessed on schools SIMS system:

Herts for Learning: Data Management Services Portal: SIMS reporting

Virtual EHM (Early Help Module) system training

Virtual Families First Practice & EHM Systems training for practitioners who will initiate Families First Assessments (FFA) and/or be a TAF member for the family using the EHM System.

Duration: 2 hours

If you would like to book onto this training please email an expression on interest to ipinfo@hertfordshire.gov.uk and your local Senior Families First Coordinator will contact you with booking details.

Contact us

Tel: 01438 737575

Email: familiesfirstassessment@hertfordshire.gov.uk

For details of your local Families First Coordinator and the support that they can provide, please visit:

Hertfordshire County Council: Families First coordinators contacts

If you have safeguarding concerns about a child or young person, please contact Customer Services:

Tel: 0300 123 4043

First published 03 September 2020 - Last updated on 14 May 2021