Level indicators

Overview

Wheel
Advice, guidance and support
Level of need Support required
Level 1
  • Children whose needs are fully met
  • Parents or carers are meeting child's needs
Level 2
  • Children with additional needs
  • Parents and child need provision of professional support or guidance to help them meet child's needs
Level 3
Early help plan
  • Children with multiple and complex problems
  • Parents and child need targeted an specialist service response to help them meet the child's needs
Level 4
Social care family assessment
Section 47/14 enquiries
  • Children with acute needs including those in need of protection
  • Parents need multi-agency service response including specialist intervention from children's social care
  • The continuum of need is intended to provide practitioners with a shared understanding and common language around needs and risks surrounding children and their families
  • It is to be used alongside the continuum of need indicators which provide descriptors of need for each level
  • The continuum doesn't replace professional judgement or assessment and planning tools

Level 1 - achieving expected outcomes (Universal)

Development needs of unborn child, child and young person

Health

  • Physically well
  • Balanced healthy diet, good hygiene and clothing
  • Developmental checks and immunisations up to date, health appointments kept, including ante-natal
  • All physical health needs met
  • Speech and language development appropriate
  • Dental and optical care as required
  • Sexual activity and awareness appropriate for age
  • Good state of mental health & emotional wellbeing
  • No use or exposure to substances

Learning and education

  • Success and achievement, reaching educational potential
  • Regular school attendance and good punctuality
  • Age appropriate cognitive development. Positive and stimulating environment

Emotional and behavioural

  • Feelings and actions demonstrate appropriate responses
  • Good quality attachment with caregivers
  • Behavioural difficulties well managed

Identity

  • Positive sense of self and abilities. An ability to express needs
  • No young caring responsibilities within family network
  • Good relationship with siblings
  • Positive relationships with peers
  • Family support child in development of self-identity

Social presentation

  • Appropriate dress for different settings
  • Good level of personal hygiene

Self care skills

  • Growing level of competencies in practical & emotional skills such as feeding, dressing and independent living skills

Parenting capacity

Basic care

  • Provide for children's physical needs; food, drink, appropriate clothing, medical and dental care
  • Parenting history supporting positive parenting
  • Parents meeting own health needs
  • No parenting issues identified

Ensuring safety

  • Able to protect from danger or significant harm in the home and elsewhere

Emotional warmth

  • Shows warm regard, praise and encouragement
  • Able to develop positive relationships

Stimulation

  • Facilitates cognitive development through interaction and play

Guidance and boundaries

  • Appropriate guidance and boundaries consistently in place

Stability

  • Consistent parenting leading to secure attachment

Family and environmental factors

Family History

  • Good relationship with family, including where parents are separated

Wider family

  • Sense of larger family network. Good relationships outside the family

Housing

  • Accommodation has basic amenities and appropriate facilities

Employment

  • Parents are able to manage the working or unemployment arrangements and do not perceive them as unduly stressful

Income

  • Reasonable income overtime, with resources used appropriately to meet individual needs

Social Integration

  • Family feels integrated into the community
  • Good social network exists

Community Resources

  • Good use of available universal services in the neighbourhood

Level 2 - Children with additional needs (Universal Plus)

Development needs of unborn child, child and young person

Health

  • Susceptible to minor health problems
  • Adequate diet
  • Slow in reaching developmental milestones. Starting to default on appointments
  • Minor concerns regarding diet, hygiene or clothing
  • Emerging speech and language difficulties
  • Defaulting on dental and optical appointments
  • Emerging concerns around sexual activity and awareness
  • Emerging concerns around mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Exposure to substances which impact on health and development

Learning and education

  • Not thought to be reaching educational potential. Some identified learning needs that require school-based support
  • Pattern of regular school attendances
  • Reduced access to books or toys. Not always engaged in learning, for example poor concentration, low motivation and interest

Emotional and behavioural

  • Some difficulties with peer group relationships and adults. Evidence of inappropriate responses and actions
  • Disrupted attachment due to parental or child factors. Can be over friendly or withdrawn with strangers
  • Emerging difficulties around managing challenging or disruptive behaviour

Identity

  • Some insecurities around identity expressed, for example low self esteem for learning
  • Some appropriate responsibility for providing care
  • Has some difficulties sustaining relationships
  • Has some difficulties sustaining relationships with peers
  • Family struggling to accept child's self-identity

Social presentation

  • Frequently inappropriately dressed for setting
  • Level of hygiene causing concern

Self care skills

  • Appears to be lacking appropriate self-care

Parenting capacity

Basic care

  • Inconsistent meeting of child's needs by parent
  • Parental history beginning to impact on care of own children
  • Parents failing to attend to own health needs
  • Parent requires advice on parenting issues

Ensuring safety

  • Some exposure to dangerous situations in home or community. Parental stresses starting to affect ability to ensure child's safety

Emotional warmth

  • Inconsistent responses to child by parents. Emerging attachment difficulties
  • Parent appears to be isolated in the community

Stimulation

  • Limited development and failure to access universal services

Guidance and boundaries

  • Appropriate guidance and boundaries lacking or inconsistent

Stability

  • Parents not prioritising child's needs due to parental stresses

Family and environmental factors

Family History

  • Child not able to access full range of family relationships

Wider family

  • Family has poor relationship with extended family or little communication

Housing

  • Poor state of repair, temporary of overcrowded

Employment

  • Parents stressed due to overworking or unemployment

Income

  • Poor allocation of funds and resources that impact on child. Poor debt management.
  • Lack of take-up of benefits and available resources

Social Integration

  • Some tension exists preventing the family feeling fully integrated into the community
  • Lack of support network

Community Resources

  • Good use of available universal services in the neighbourhood

Level 3 - Children with Multiple and complex needs (Universal Partnership Plus)

Development needs of unborn child, child and young person

Health

  • Severe or chronic health problems
  • Problematic diet for example obesity, faltering growth
  • Slow in reaching developmental milestones. Non attendance for appointments
  • Escalating concerns regarding diet, hygiene or clothing
  • Failure to access or engage with some speech and language services
  • Dental and optical concerns not being met
  • Increasing risk of vulnerability from sexual activity and awareness (including teenage pregnancy)
  • Significant concerns not being met. Failure to access support and services
  • Exposure to problematic use. Experimental use by adolescent

Learning and education

  • Identified learning needs that are not being met. Evidence of non-engagement with appropriate support
  • Some fixed term exclusions. Permanent exclusion. High percentage of non- attendance
  • No access to leisure activities or stimulation. No interests or skills displayed

Emotional and behavioural

  • Difficulty coping with anger, frustration & upset
  • Disruptive or challenging behaviour by parent or child linked to poor attachment
  • Challenging or disruptive behaviour impacting on daily life, achievement and relationships etc

Identity

  • Subject to discrimination for example racial, sexual or due to disabilities. Demonstrates significantly low self esteem
  • Caring responsibilities impacting on daily life, achievement and relationships and so on.
  • Some level of risk to or from siblings
  • Isolated from peers. Peers also involved in challenging behaviour. Missing school or leisure activities
  • Family very negative about child's developing self-identity

Social presentation

  • Presentation leads to isolation from peer groups and is impacting on development
  • Poor hygiene manifesting in physical difficulties (for example sores)

Self care skills

  • Carer expectations or living circumstances not age or developmentally appropriate.
  • Inappropriate young caring responsibilities

Parenting capacity

Basic care

  • Parent failing to engage and sustain engagement with services that could assist in meetings child's needs. Parent consistently not meeting basic care needs. Parent resistant to change
  • Parental history impacting on ability to care for child
  • Parents' failure to attend to health needs impacting on child or unborn child
  • Parent is struggling to provide adequate care. No improvement despite provision of adequate early help services

Ensuring safety

  • Perceived to be a problem by parent
  • Family coming to the attention of agencies due to risk
  • Parents not acknowledging risk or responding to advice and support

Emotional warmth

  • Erratic or inconsistent care leading to negative impact on child. Parental instability affects capacity to nurture
  • Inability to retain positive relationships

Stimulation

  • Not receiving positive stimulation - lack of new experiences and activities
  • Engagement with support unsustained. Not attending pre-school setting

Guidance and boundaries

  • Absence of appropriate guidance or boundaries putting child at risk. Child experiencing difficulties or putting themselves at risk in other settings

Stability

  • Frequent change of care-giver leading to instability. Lack of focus on child

Family and environmental factors

Family History

  • Acrimonious Dysfunctional relationships between family members

Wider family

  • No effective support from extended family

Housing

  • Physical accommodation impacting on child health and parents taking no action.
  • Family at risk of becoming homeless (intentionally or other)

Employment

  • Chronic unemployment that has severely affected child and parent's aspirations and engagement with education and employment.

Income

  • Serious debts or poverty impact on ability to have basic needs met

Social Integration

  • Family socially excluded and or vulnerable in the community, for example are experiencing frequent or persistent anti-social behaviour or hate crime
  • No supportive network

Community Resources

  • Lack of access to universal services impacting on family

Level four - children with acute needs, including protection (Safeguarding)

Development needs of unborn child, child and young person

Health

  • Severe or chronic health problems and appropriate services not being accessed. Life threatening health problems
  • Severe health effects from problematic diet
  • Developmental milestones unlikely to be met. Non organic faltering growth
  • Regularly unfed. Very unclean or dirty, clothing smell
  • Significant impact of not accessing or engaging with speech and language support
  • Severe impact from dental and optical concerns not being met
  • Sexual exploitation and or abuse
  • Serious mental health issues. Serious risk to self or others. Sustained bouts of depression and or self harm. Threats of suicide
  • Problematic and chaotic use of substances which impact significantly on the health and wellbeing of the child. Class A drug use or daily use of any substance by an adolescent

Learning and education

  • Repeated permanent school exclusion. Permanent school exclusion with other risk factors
  • Denied access to stimulation

Emotional and behavioural

  • Regularly involved in anti-social and or criminal activities
  • Dysfunctional attachment between parent and child leading to significant harm
  • Challenging and or disruptive behaviour putting others or self in danger

Identity

  • Experiences persistent discrimination for example based on ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. Alienates self from others
  • High level of caring task impacting on life chances and emotional wellbeing
  • Family breakdown related to child's behavioural difficulties
  • Isolation affecting development. or increasing risk of exploitation. No access to appropriate peer group
  • Family's negative response to child's self-identity impacting significantly on child's wellbeing

Social presentation

  • Presentation is significantly impacting on development or leading to severe isolation
  • Experiencing significant issues or clear impairments. No engagement with services to address concerns

Self care skills

  • Child or young person neglects to use self-care skills due to alternative priorities or parental factors such mental health or substance misuse

Parenting capacity

Basic care

  • Parents unable to provide "good enough" parenting that is adequate and safe
  • Parental history impacting significantly on ability to care for child
  • Unmet health needs of parents seriously impacting on child or unborn child
  • Parents unable to care for previous children. Parenting significantly impacting on child's wellbeing

Ensuring safety

  • Instability and risk in the home continually
  • Parental lifestyle exposing child to significant risk
  • Lack of response to early help intervention leading to increased risk

Emotional warmth

  • Parents inconsistent, highly critical or apathetic towards child or pregnancy
  • Parental isolation impacting significantly on child's emotional development

Stimulation

  • Child development adversely affected by lack of stimulation and support

Guidance and boundaries

  • No effective boundaries or guidance set by parents placing child at significant risk. Beyond parental control

Stability

  • Parent not prioritising child's needs above their own, significantly impacting on child

Family and environmental factors

Family History

  • Significant parental discord for example persistent domestic violence, or serious divorce or separation physical or mental health

Wider family

  • Destructive or unhelpful involvement from extended family

Housing

  • Poor state of repair, temporary of overcrowded

Income

  • Extreme poverty or debt impacting on ability to care for child. Family requires emergency financial assistance. No access to public funds

Social Integration

  • Family experiencing frequent or persistent anti-social behaviour, hate crime or racists incidents which is having a significant impact on family wellbeing