Whole Family Working & Threshold Document

Brighton & Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board, and our partners, have published a Whole Family Working Strategy  for the city. We have also refreshed the Helping Children and Families, Threshold Document to help make sure that children get the right support at the right time.

Children should have the best possible start in life, growing up happy, healthy and safe with the opportunity to reach their potential, with no one left behind.

Most children, young people and families in Brighton & Hove have a good quality of life. However there are some who find life more difficult for a variety of reasons including families who face complex, multiple problems needing expensive specialist services.

Safeguarding children and young people is everyone’s responsibility; everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play

The purpose of the Whole Family Working Strategy is to agree a collective commitment that whole family working and early help is the responsibility of everyone who works with children and families. The aim of the strategy is to improve outcomes for vulnerable families and reduce the demand for high cost services.

Alongside this we have updated our threshold document and associated guidance.  Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) are required to publish this guidance. It  covers expectations and statutory duties upon all agencies to work together to safeguard and protect children and to take measures to ensure that all agencies are working to offer Early Help to prevent matters from getting worse for a child or their family.

The Threshold Document helps explain the different levels of support that a family may require. This can be printed as an A3 poster for reference, or can be viewed as an interactive thresholds framework which contains more information and links to further support and guidance.

The Threshold Framework links to the Early Help Strengthening Families Assessment and Plan. Through adopting a common tool for assessment and planning across the thresholds we hope to support professionals to develop a common language when thinking about strengths, needs and risk and to reduce confusion for children and families.


Chris Robson, the LSCB  Independent Chair, says

“We all want all children and families in Brighton & Hove to do well. It is the responsibility of all agencies to work together to support and safeguard children and young people. This includes ensuring that help and support is provided to children and their families at the earliest opportunity, as soon as concerns first start to emerge. Our partners have come together to create our Whole Family Working Strategy. This captures our joint priorities and emphasises our collective commitment to providing help and support before risk and vulnerabilities escalate. We are committed to supporting families through the challenging times and to work alongside them to help them thrive by building their capacity to cope with life’s difficulties.

The needs of children and their families do not always easily fit into a category or a tick box.  A child’s circumstances can change quickly and a child may move across the levels of need dependent on a number of different variables. Making a judgement about the level of need is not an exact science, but our Threshold Document  seeks to provide a degree of clarity and guidance to support a consistent understanding and application of thresholds. I hope this refreshed Threshold Document will better support professionals from across services, as well as parents, carers and children, know what to expect and explain how we come together to help and support families.”


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