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Continuum of Need (threshold document)

Oldham Safeguarding Partnership has set out and refreshed a Continuum of Need model. This ranges from children receiving “Universal” support – so considering every child, then considering those with low level needs to those whose needs are more acute requiring specialist intervention. 

Children’s needs can and will change and it is imperative that practitioners are able to support a smooth transition across the continuum. This ensures that we provide the right intervention and help at the lowest possible level and the earliest possible time.

Universal: The needs of children are met by universal services such as schools, healthcare services, leisure and community services which are readily accessible to all, as well as the love, care and protection from parents and carers. 

Universal Plus “Earliest Possible Help”: Children who may have unmet or complex needs that requires multi-agency support through an early help response involving two or more agencies. This is led by one agency and the aim is to build a plan of support around the child and family to work together to respond to needs. 

Targeted Early Help: Children who have multiple and complex unmet need requiring a targeted Early Help response with targeted intervention from Early Help services led by the local authority, where Universal Plus “Earliest Possible Help” has not enabled change to be made. These unmet needs may be complex and could be impacting on the child and family daily life. 

Children’s Social Care: Children with acute needs requiring statutory social work level intervention. This could be due to increasing risk or where there is actual or likely significant harm. This will require Social Care to undertake a S17 Children in Need assessment or S47 enquiries.

Oldham Continuum of Need (threshold document) approved Jan 2021

Early Help for Families 

Early Help is not delivered by one designated team: All professionals working with children and their families in Oldham are responsible for supporting families. Early Help is everyone’s business! More information found here

Partner led earliest possible help gets the family the support they need at the earliest stage of the problem. Dealt with swiftly and correctly; the problem might never need to escalate to the MASH front door/Targeted Early Help

Local Protocol for Assessment
Under Working Together 2018 Local authorities, with their partners, are required to develop and publish local protocols for assessment. A local protocol should set out clear arrangements for how cases will be managed once a child is referred into local authority children’s social care and be consistent with the requirements of statutory guidance.

OSCP Local-assessment-protocol-FINAL (1).pdf


As of 2023 Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership are introducing the Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) as the agreed tool for professionals to use when assessing the level of neglect affecting a child, or children within a family.

Please contact the Oldham Safeguarding Partnership for more information on the roll out contact

Please see further details below:

Lunch Learn - Graded Care Profile 2

Further information available on the NSPCC website - How the GCP2 assessment tool for neglect supports families and practitioners to achieve change


Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
T: 0161 770 7777

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