Continuum of Need (Refreshed 2023)

The Continuum of Need is endorsed by Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership for use by all professionals and services who work with children and families. The 2023 refresh does not fundamentally change the ways in which we want our partners to work with children and families, but re-framing the language around criteria is intended to bring a sharper focus on the presenting needs of the child/ren and parent/carer’s ability to meet those needs in order that we intervene at the earliest opportunity.

The guiding principle for all partners when referring to this Continuum of Need is that support should be offered to a child and family as soon as need is identified at any point in a child’s life; we call this ‘Early Help’ and we deliver this through a Team around the Family (TaF) plan.

If you click on the interactive Continuum of Need below, you will be able to access further information about the types of outcomes you might identify for the child, family or parent/carer at each level and what action should be taken to support or protect the child.

This Continuum of Need Framework should be used in conjunction with other relevant practice guidance, inter-agency protocols and multi-agency policies and procedures as detailed in the Pan Cheshire Procedures Contents (proceduresonline.com). Professionals are also  reminded to use the Safeguarding Children Partnership Practice Standards as a guide to expected practice when supporting children and families across the Continuum of Need.

When making referrals to iART there is an expectation that an Early Help Assessment (Team Around the Family) will already have been offered to a family (with the exception of those that clearly meet threshold for statutory social work intervention) and that evidenced based assessment tools (from the SCP multi-agency toolkit) will support all referrals.  Please click on the levels to reveal further information.

Universal Statutory Intervention by Children’s Social Care Partnership Plus (TaF Required) Universal Plus (TaF Recommended)