Lambeth's Levels of Need Guidance

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New Levels of Need Guidance

The right help, at the right time

It is important that all who practitioners who work with children and young people understand how to assess their needs and help ensure they receive the right help at the right time. 

Our aim is identify early indicators of harm and intervene quickly. Where needs arise, then the least intrusive approach should be used to respect the dignity and right to a private family life of those involved. Where safeguarding reaches a level of complexity or risk then we need to act early to achieve safe outcomes for children, young people and their families. 

Understanding the access criteria for services and thresholds strengthens local arrangements and help everyone to work together to identify the best support for an individual child, young person and their family or carers dependent on need.

The Lambeth Levels of Need Framework focuses upon the needs and risk of harm to children and families, as individuals and within their environment or context. It is intended to support discussion about the levels of need and the most appropriate response across the partnership. The framework is organised into two sections:

  1. Child and Family Levels of Need - this section explores the needs or risk of harm as they relate to individual or familial situations, including domestic abuse

  2. Locations & Groups Levels of Need - this section helps practitioners identify needs or risk of harm within extra-familial contexts, for example within a peer group, location, transport hub or school

Please use the Levels of Need guidance to help you to identify the right help at the right time.

Steps to make a referral

Consider the Levels of Need Guidance to help you identify the right help at the right time for the child and family

Call the Integrated Referral Hub on 020 7926 3100 to discuss your concerns and to ask for advice

You can also email the Integrated Referral Hub at