The Southampton Continuum of Need introduces four new levels of intervention for the City.
- Universal (Level 1) Children whose needs are fully met and thrive – Essentially a child’s needs are understood to be met.
- Universal Partnership (Level 2) Children with additional needs – Some concerns may be addressed within a single agency through its own internal consultation procedures. In some instances, concerns may be addressed through joint or multi-disciplinary consultation or referral – with or without the need for professionals from different disciplines or agencies physically coming together to meet. A family may seek the support of a service in accessing additional support with for example parenting, the local offer (SEND) or health related concerns.
- Universal Partnership Plus (Level 3) Children with multiple complex needs – Where a child or public safety is not an issue, but there are other concerns, a multi-agency meeting (Team Around the Child/Family TAC/TAF meeting, Education Health and Care Plan Review, etc.) provides the multi-agency planning forum: this may involve practitioners from any of the universal, universal plus, universal partnership plus services – whether statutory or private, voluntary, independent or community services.
- Safeguarding (Level 4) Children with acute needs including those in need of protection – In cases where:
- the protection of a child is an issue, a Strategy Discussion is held, and if followed by a Child Protection Enquiry a Child Protection Conference may be convened- as outlined in the Southampton LSCB Child Protection Procedures
- where public protection is at risk, the Police will lead on co-ordinating a response: this is likely to involve Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) corresponding to three categories of offender (involving violent or sex offenders) and three levels of risk management (involving more intensive multi-agency engagement)
- where a young person is subject to a statutory youth offending order, where the likelihood of re-offending or risk of serious harm is high, internal processes take place to assess interventions required and participation of other agencies
- where an Education Health and Care Plan needs to be considered for Children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities a multi-agency statutory assessment is undertaken.
Any agency can therefore take responsibility for coordinating a response to a concern about a child or young person at Level 1, 2 and 3 in the Southampton Continuum of Need – unless the concern is so serious as to warrant statutory or complex specialist intervention at Level 4.
- Services to young people with additional needs should be provided on the basis of assessment and analysis – and be reviewed to ensure that needs are being met.
- The full involvement of children, young people and parents is implicit in Southampton Continuum of Need. All activity involved in multi-agency meetings should be known to parents, children and young people, and they should be fully involved as far as possible. All interaction with children and parents is on the basis of consent, even where concerns are so high a statutory intervention is required against the parent’s wishes.
- All agencies must commit to participating in consultation, without necessarily receiving a referral.
- All agencies must respond seriously to requests to attend multi-agency meetings
- Where significant harm to a child is likely, then the responsibility for coordinating action rests with Children’s Social Care under the Southampton LSCB Child Protection Procedures
- Statutory coordination for Public Safety, SEND Education, Health and Care Plans, CAMHS, Youth Re-Offending can rest with agencies at either Level 3 or 4.
Please see the Multi-agency guidance for more information.