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Bedford Borough Thresholds


Bedford Borough multi-agency thresholds document

The Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board has published a ‘thresholds document’ setting out levels of need and access to Children’s Social Care.

This document provides a framework for professionals who are working with children, young people and families. It aims to help identify when a child or young person may need additional support to achieve their full potential.

It introduces a continuum of help and support, provides information on the levels of need and gives examples of some of the factors that may indicate a child or young person needs additional support.

By undertaking assessments and offering services on a continuum of help and support, professionals can be flexible and respond to different levels of need in different children, young people and families.

The framework recognises that however complex a child or young person’s needs, universal services e.g. education and health, will always be provided alongside any specialist additional service.

Along the continuum of need services become increasingly targeted and specialised according to the level of need. Children or young people’s needs are not static, and they may experience different needs – at different points on the continuum – throughout their childhood years.

The four levels of need

Level 1: Universal

Children, young people and families are generally progressing well and achieving expected outcomes. Their core needs are being met effectively by universal services without any additional support.

Level 2: Early help / intervention

Children, young people and families are experiencing emerging problems which result in them not achieving outcomes. They are likely to require early help/intervention for a time limited period, to seek to move them back to Level 1. Children subject to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

Level 3: Targeted

Children, young people and families who are experiencing significant additional needs, which may be numerous or more serious/complex in nature. This is having a significant impact on their achievement of expected outcomes and is likely to require more targeted support, potentially from a number of agencies. This may require the identification of a lead professional to co-ordinate the support provided to the family.

This may meet the threshold for an assessment led by children’s social care under Section 17, Children Act 1989 although the assessments and services required may come from a range of provision outside of children’s social care. Children or young people subject to an EHC plan may well be accessing targeted support.

Level 4: Specialist

Children, young people and families who are experiencing very serious or complex needs that are having a major impact on their achievement of expected outcomes.

Their needs will be such that they require intensive support from specialist services. These children or young people are suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm. This is the threshold for child protection.

This level also includes Tier 4 health services which are very specialised services in residential, day patient or outpatient settings for children and adolescents with severe and /or complex health problems. This is likely to mean that they may be referred to children’s social care under section 20, 47 or 31 of the Children Act 1989.

This would also include those children or young people remanded into custody and statutory youth offending services.

This document should be used in conjunction with Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board procedures:

Other Details

Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old