The children's social care service operates under a strict legal framework, and it is this legal framework that dictates which cases must be accepted from referral and assessed, and what services can be offered or provided to children, young people and their families.
Duties and responsibilities
Children's social care determines the level of need for children by a process of assessment based on the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000). The assessment looks at the child's developmental needs, parenting capacity of their carers, and family and environmental factors.
Children's social care use thresholds to consider whether a referral will be accepted, whether an assessment will be undertaken, and what services will be offered or provided. This way they can ensure that help is targeted at those children who are most vulnerable, and that any decisions made about services are consistent.
Once a referral is accepted, staff will carry out an assessment to identify the child's level of need and risk, and decide on an appropriate plan of action and services to be offered depending on this assessment.
When a referral is below the children's social care threshold, the Thurrock MASH may be able to provide referrers with information on more suitable resources and/or pass the referral to early help or other services where appropriate.