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Dorset Threshold Tool

Dorset's tool for assessing the needs of a child or young person and what support to offer them and their family.

What is the threshold tool?

The Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) has updated the The Threshold Tool (pdf, 262kb) (opens in a new window) - a document to support a multi-agency, whole system approach to assessment, prevention and intervention for children, young people and their families.

The threshold tool is for all professionals working with children and young people. It's a guide to help you understand the needs of a child, who is best placed to offer support and when to take action. It's a working document that will be regularly updated.

Read a transcript of the Threshold Tool video.

When do we use the tool?

It can sometimes be difficult to know when an issue can be dealt with by your own organisation, or whether other agencies need to be brought in. The tool can help you set goals, track progress and decide when a when a common assessment, or a referral to children's social care, is needed.

Nothing can act as a substitute for your professional knowledge and opinion. The tool will not cover every scenario, but will act as a guide to help you gather your thoughts about a child, weigh up the risks and determine the best course of action.

Ultimately it is about making sure a child is supported early on - nipping problems in the bud and helping families to help themselves, so that further problems don't occur. If more families are offered early help, fewer children will need to be supported by statutory services, such as social care.

What if a child is at risk?

Of course, if you are ever concerned that a child is at risk of significant harm or is being neglected, you should report a concern.

What if a common assessment is needed?

A common assessment is a process that brings together a range of professionals to work with children, young people and families who need extra support.

We've simplified our online common assessment form to improve the current process. You can book a place on CAF training to understand the revised process.

We are also planning to form a multi-agency group for you to tell us how Dorset 's CAF process can be improved, so we can make sure we give you a relevant set of guidance and tools that are easy to use.

Need more advice?

For more advice see the:

We hope the threshold tool and CAF training will help you make sure a child receives the right support at the right time.

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