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Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 ‘A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’ states ‘the safeguarding partners should publish a threshold document, which sets out the local criteria for action in a way that is transparent, accessible and easily understood. This should include:

  • the process for the early help assessment and the type and level of early help services to be provided
  • the criteria, including the level of need, for when a case should be referred to local authority children’s social care for assessment and for statutory services under:
    • Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (children in need)
    • Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 (reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm)
    • Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 (care and supervision orders)
    • Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (duty to accommodate a child)
  • clear procedures and processes for cases relating to:
    • the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children
    • children managed within the youth secure estate
    • disabled children

The guidance for thresholds of need and intervention is a vital tool that underpins the local vision to provide targeted support services at the earliest opportunity – right through to specialist and statutory interventions when it is needed to promote the welfare and safety of vulnerable children and young people. It aims to offer a clear framework and a common understanding of thresholds of need for practitioners within all agencies, to help to promote a shared awareness of the different interventions required to effectively support children, young people and their families or carers.

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