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Thresholds for Social Care

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					                      Thresholds for Social Care


Social Care is one of the services within children’s services which,
provides assessment, planning review and monitoring services for
children whose needs are complex and whose care is compromised.
The paramount consideration is the safety and welfare of the child. The
core activities in children’s social care are:

   Providing good quality care and promoting the welfare of looked
    after children

   Safeguarding children from abuse

   Maintaining children within their families whenever possible and
    supporting families to meet their children’s essential social care
    needs

Children’s Social Care works in close partnership with other agencies
and is one of the partners to the Early Intervention and Prevention
approach which was adopted by the Children and Young People’s
Strategic Partnership in April 2007. The Early Intervention and
Prevention Approach include the thresholds for all services and are
available at www.childrenservices@newcastle.org.uk. The thresholds
are based on the dimensions of the National Assessment Framework
(Department of Health 2000: Framework for the Assessment of Children
in Need and their Families) and are a tool to assist practitioners to
identify the level of need of a child and which services could assist in
meeting the needs.

The thresholds model identifies four levels of need:

Level 1    Children with no additional needs

Level 2    Children with additional needs requiring a single agency
           response

Level 3    Children with additional needs requiring a multi-agency
           response

Level 4    Children with complex or acute needs



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Social care is part of the service provision for children who meet the
threshold for level 4 services. Children and young people will sometimes
have needs spanning more than one level and the levels can only be
used as a guide. Although there are many examples of the different
levels of need described in the Early intervention and Prevention
Approach this is not exhaustive and there will be circumstances that are
not covered.

If practitioners or any individual has a concern that a child is at risk of
significant harm or has met the threshold for level 4 services they should
contact the Initial Response Team in Social Care (Tel: 0191 2772500)

Where a practitioner has a concern about a child whose needs are not
consistently met but for whom there are no current acute risks and
children’s social care assistance is not essential to maintaining the
child’s health and wellbeing the Initial Response Team are available to
discuss other appropriate services that could assist the practitioner to
resolve their concerns.

The Social Care service uses the National Assessment Framework as its
basis for assessments of children. Any referral into Social Care will be
to the Initial Response Team and will result in a decision on whether or
not to proceed to an Initial Assessment. This assessment must be
completed within 7 working days and may lead to further action on the
part of social care, a referral to another agency or feedback to the
referrer and the family that the child does not have acute needs and the
family will be signposted to preventative services.

The priorities for social care are:

    Children who are thought to be at risk of significant harm

    There is a serious concern about the health or development of a
     child

    A child has a severe or multiple disability where constant care or
     support is needed or an immediate response is required

    Children for whom a reasonable standard of health and
     development will not be maintained without services to support the
     family




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    Children for whom a duty arises out of statuary requirements
     rather than from an assessment of need e.g. chronically sick and
     disabled Act 1970

The thresholds for level four services detailed in the Early Intervention
and Prevention Approach provide many examples of children’s needs
which may suggest a child has met the criteria for an assessment by the
Initial Response Team.

If a practitioner is unsure whether a child has met the threshold for level
four services the Initial Response Team are available to discuss other
appropriate services that could assist the practitioner to resolve their
concerns.

Revised 31st July 2007




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