Complex case discussions - if an EHA is stuck

There may be times when the Early Help Assessment (EHA) or the support you are providing is not achieving its intended outcomes.

This could happen for a number of reasons including:

  • The family is not engaging
  • Other professionals or partners are not engaging
  • Lack of availability of resources or services
  • The needs of the child, young person or family have become more complex
  • The parents or carers may only be complying because they thought it was mandatory

In these instances, you can try the following options:

  • Complex case discussions
  • Action learning sets - The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children's Board (NSCB) and Early Help Support Service provide additional learning opportunities through Action learning sets. Learning sets will be in place in each area four times a year.

The complex case discussion

A complex case discussion is a group talk amongst key professionals to review a case and identify options.  

Do I need to get consent for a complex case discussion?

If you have already had consent for an Early Help Assessment, this will also work for a complex case discussion.
If not you must obtain signed consent from the parent or carer.

How do I refer a case?

Complete the online form:

Make a complex case referral

Do I need to attend this discussion?

In many cases, a face-to-face discussion is not needed. A co-ordinator will gather views and guidance from the group and feed back to you. These meetings take place every 2 weeks.

If a face to face discussion is thought necessary, the professional or practitioner who requested the discussion will be invited to attend the next available complex case meeting.

Discussions take place with:

  • Core members,
  • Relevant professionals, and 
  • The referrer present.

A discussion is expected to take no more than 15 minutes.

What happens if the complex case discussion does not help?

If the EHA is still not achieving its outcomes, you should refer the case to the MASH:

Contact the MASH