Threshold of needs matrix

Used as a tool to enable agencies to communicate their concern about children.

In order to be able to describe in detail the different levels of children’s needs professionals in statutory and voluntary agencies in Oxfordshire have developed a threshold of needs matrix. This matrix is based on the domains and dimensions of the Assessment Framework.

It is intended that the matrix be used as a tool to enable agencies to communicate their concerns about children using common language and understanding of the level of concern or risk.

The matrices are not definitive lists, but illustrations to help practitioners have a shared understanding of the whole needs of the child/young person/family.

The presence of single or multiple combinations of factors, the age of the child and protective factors will all need to be taken into account. In all instances the practitioner will have to make a judgement about whether or not child/young person fits the broad definition at each level. It should also be noted that children may move in/out and between the levels of concern in ranging timescales depending on the nature of their particular circumstance.


The Locality and Community Support Service will deliver Early Help Assessment training which includes an update on the revised Threshold of Need.  This training is being delivered on behalf of Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB).