Families have different needs and we translate these into different levels of intervention. A family may require different levels of intervention at different times.

There are two documents here to help you to establish which intervention is most appropriate for the level of need.

The Practitioner Guide to Referral Thresholds provides a quick reference to the full Integrated Working Threshold Guidance.

The Practitioner Guide to Referral Thresholds is an aid to your decision making about whether to refer to Children's Social Care or speak to the Children's Advice Team about early help and assessment. Responsibility as to whether to make a referral into Children's Social Care lies with the individual agency. Individual workers should make this decision in discussion with their line manager and in line with their agency policy and procedures.

The decision will be based on a number of factors including the age of the child, family background, other circumstances and, crucially, professional judgement.

This threshold guide helps inform that decision making process.

Working Together 2015:

“Where need is relatively low level individual services and universal services may be able to take swift action. For other emerging needs a range of early help services may be required, coordinated through an early help assessment, as set out above. Where there are more complex needs, help may be provided under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (children in need). Where there are child protection concerns (reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) local authority social care services must make enquiries and decide if any action must be taken under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.”

The full Integrated Working Threshold Guidance describes levels of concern for children, young people and their families. It should be used to inform good practice and not as a definitive statement of thresholds for concern. There may well be circumstances that are not covered in this document or particular issues that lead to a professional judgement, which leads to a different conclusion.

The use of this guide and these processes will have two main benefits:

  • Consistent application of definitions
  • Promotion of good practice

In order to apply the thresholds effectively, managers and supervisors will themselves need to have a good understanding of integrated working processes.

How to use the full Integrated Working Threshold Guide:

  • Use it as a guide, not a prescription. It should prompt you to think more clearly and interpret the situation
  • Try to see the whole situation and weigh up all of the issues
  • Take advice from your manager and/or the Children's Advice Team when you are not sure
  • Use it as a tool with families as a way of clarifying your ideas and concerns

Pyramid of Need/Intervention

The Pyramid of Need is an additional tool to help you consider how to respond to the needs of the child, young person and family.

Family Information Service

01904 554444