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Pathways to Services

Understanding the required level of intervention and how to access it is essential to ensure that suitable support is provided to a child or family at the most appropriate time. Nottinghamshire Children’s Trust has produced specific detailed guidance to outline the pathway to services that includes the threshold for referral to Children’s Social Care. These can be found at Nottinghamshire Children's Social Care Procedures.

Key principles underpinning this model are:

  • Universal services are involved with the child throughout interventions from targeted and specialist services;
  • Children, young people and families are not passed around services through referral mechanisms, but are supported within a multi-agency framework that engages with appropriate services at different levels of intervention;
  • Children, young people and families pass through levels of intervention seamlessly, both as needs increase and they require targeted or specialist services, but also as their needs are met and they move back down through levels of intervention;
  • Most children who require support or intervention from specialist services will show evidence of requiring support from universal and targeted services prior to this, which should be assessed and met on a multi-agency basis where appropriate, using the Family Service Operating Procedures (see Nottinghamshire Children's Social Care Procedure Manual, Family Service Operating Procedures - to follow);
  • Some children will require immediate support and safeguarding from specialist services, including Children’s Social Care and immediate action should be undertaken to ensure this;
  • A lead practitioner is agreed when a child has identified additional needs requiring multi agency support, who will ensure the family are involved throughout and support is coordinated.

If at any point it is assessed, or there is evidence that a child or young person is suffering, or likely to suffer, Significant Harm, an immediate referral should be made to Children’s Social Care as described in The Responsibility to Refer to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Procedure. See Local Contacts.

If appropriate support cannot be identified for children and families who do not meet the thresholds for Children Social Care, the Named Senior officer for the Council should follow the Early Help Unit’s Referral Process.