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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Single Assessment Framework

All practitioners working with children and families in County Durham must follow the Single Assessment Framework to access the support required to meet identified additional needs.

What the Single Assessment Framework is

The framework guides workers through a single approach to assessment, planning and review from early help through to children in need care planning. The procedures, guidance and supporting documentation can be found in the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board: Single Assessment Procedures.

What this means for partners

All partner agencies working with children and their families must adopt these procedures in their daily practice. Partners are expected to identify children and families who may not be making required or expected progress as a result of their additional needs which could lead to poor outcomes.   

The Single Assessment Procedure contains a step-by-step guide to assist practitioners and managers identify and assess the needs of children and families.

What this means for children, young people and families

The procedures mean that children, young people and their families will receive early help and practical support to meet their needs. More specialist help from qualified social workers will be available if needed. 

Information sharing

All partners recognise the importance of appropriate information sharing in the safeguarding of children and young people. Serious Case Reviews frequently comment that either the absence of, or ineffective information sharing, often leads to worse outcomes for children and their families. Professionals are encouraged to use the procedures to support information sharing when they are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child or young person.