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1.1.1 Thresholds of Need Guidance


Working Together to Safeguard Children emphasises the importance of clear thresholds for taking action to safeguard children which are understood by all professionals and applied consistently. By ensuring a shared understanding of local thresholds for intervention, children and young people will receive the right help and support at the right time.

Working Together to Safeguard Children requires that multi agency 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 including:

  • The process for the Early Help Assessment and the type and level of Early Help services to be provided; and
  • 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 children suffering or likely to suffer significant harm);
    • Section 31 (care orders); and
    • Section 20 (duty to accommodate a child) of the Children Act 1989.
  • Clear procedures and processes for cases relating to:
    • The abuse, neglect and exploitation of children;
    • Children managed within the youth secure estate;
    • Disabled children.

For information on threshold documents across the Consortium, see below:

Leeds do not use a Thresholds Guide but instead use conversation opportunities as the best way of identifying and responding to the needs of children and young people. For more information please see the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

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