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.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the light of learning from Serious Case Reviews there will no longer be what if conversations the expectation would be that you contact your agencies Safeguarding Lead or Designated Safeguarding Lead to discuss.
No you need to complete an Early Help Assessment. (This remains the same as previously)
You can make a telephone referral but you will then need to follow this up in writing within 24 hours (This remains the same as previously). See page 17 of Effective Support for Children and Families in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.
One parent can consent, but it is good practice to seek consent from both parents, unless it would increase the risk to the child or family.
We would expect the lived experience of the child to be captured in the Referral. Within your information, please differentiate what is fact and what is your opinion. Further information, tools and resources can be found here
The email address has been agreed following an information sharing agreement, if concerned check with your own agency.
There should be a handover meeting, this should be a smooth transition, if you have not experienced this contact the Early Help Helpline.
We recognise that the Referral Form uses old language, please use the new wording – emerging, complex and specialist
Yes, the form hasn’t changed. A physical signature is not required on the electronic version as there is a check box to confirm they gave consent.
The telephone referrals should be used for immediate concerns where a referral is completed over the phone via the call centre staff. You would still be required to complete a written referral within 24 hours of making your call though.
Yes, however you will be expected to complete a written referral.
GDPR regulations requires you to consent however you have a right to share if there are child safeguarding concerns which fall within the criteria.
If you do not receive consent we will not be able to contact the parents however this would all be logged and if there was a cause for concern it may be moved up a scale from early help.
16. Can we make a referral for a family who have already experienced social care involvement which has been closed but still seeing issues?
A referral can still be and the threshold decision will be made.
17. If a 14 year old and above who is Gillick confident does not wish for their parents to be contacted, will Social Care do this?
If it is made clear on the referral that the young person does not want their parents to be contacted Children’s Social Care would always contact the young person first.
18. I have concerns regarding receiving calls from MASH asking for information on a particular child but feel obliged by the GDPR regulations that I should not be giving away this information freely when I do not know who the person is on the other end of the phone, how can I manage this?
If you ever feel it is inappropriate to give information to someone over the phone, you can call the MASH contact number so you know you are speaking to the right team to give this information