An initial assessment may indicate that a child is a ‘child in need’ as defined by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, but that there are no substantiated concerns that the child may be suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm. There may be sufficient information available on which to decide what services (if any) should be provided by whom according to an agreed plan. On the other hand a more in-depth assessment may be necessary in order to understand the child’s needs and circumstances. In these circumstances, the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families provides guidance on undertaking a core assessment which builds on the findings from the initial assessment and addresses the central or most important aspects of the needs of a child and the capacity of his or her parents or caregivers to respond appropriately to these needs within the wider family and community context. This core assessment can provide a sound evidence base for professional judgements on what types of services are most likely to bring about good outcomes for the child. Family Group Conferences may be an effective vehicle for taking forward work in such cases.