Levels of need and conversations

The Threshold Guidance which was previously published by CYSCB is no longer in use. We will, instead, be directing practitioners to pathways for accessing services at different levels of need. The City of York Council  Resource and Advice Directory (RAD) is an interactive online tool available to professionals to help you identify what support is available for the families you are working with. 

The best way to address a concern is through conversation with the family (as long as this does not increase the risk for the child or anyone else) and with the other practitioners involved. If you are uncertain about the level at which the concern needs addressing, the Children’s Front Door offers you the opportunity to talk it through with a qualified social worker to understand whether a social care assessment is needed or whether the case can be progressed at early help level. The Local Area Team practitioners can advise you about early help assessments and processes.

Individual situations can be multifaceted and cannot necessarily be addressed via a simple checklist approach. Children and young people may require interventions at several levels. This means that a child may have interventions from a variety of services from universal services to services to manage very complex needs, all at the same time. This means sharing responsibility rather than discharging it up or down the ‘thresholds’ to a different service.

Communication and collaboration between practitioners, at all levels, and with the child and family are the best way to understand the child’s needs and to ascertain when those needs are not being met and when some other intervention is needed to improve outcomes. These communications lead to meaningful assessment and inform ongoing support, planning and review.

(Sometimes practitioners (and families) may not agree with each other. In such instances practitioners should seek support from their line manager, or agency child protection lead and, failing a satisfactory outcome to further discussions at this level, may implement the resolution of disputes process.)

All communications, assessments, plans and reviews, whatever the outcome, should be recorded appropriately by all agencies in order to show that they took place, identify what was agreed and evaluate how effectively needs were met.  


York Family Information Service

01904 554444