Neglect – Graded Care Profile 2

Frequently Asked Questions

This list of Frequently Asked Questions may address the queries individual practitioners have about using the GCP2.

What is the Graded Care Profile 2?

The Graded Care Profile 2 is a tool designed to provide an objective measure of the care of children. It is primarily based on the qualitative measure of the commitment shown by parents or carers in meeting their children’s developmental needs.

The Graded Care Profile has been designed and developed by Dr O Prakash Srivastava, Community Paediatrician, arising from his work first in Barnsley and then in Luton. The GCP is based on a children’s developmental needs perspective and seeks to measure compliance and commitment to meeting those needs.

The original GCP tool was first trialled in 1995 and showed itself to be a user-friendly tool which was reliable and could replicate scores when re-tested by practitioners. The tool was published in 1997.

The NSPCC undertook a national evaluation of the tool and found that it was a useful tool and suggested some modifications to enhance the tool. These modifications have resulted in the Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2).

What does the GCP2 measure?

The GCP2 measures the quality of care given to an individual child over a short window of time (i.e. it represents the current level of care). The care given is graded between 1 (most positive) and 5 (most negative) in all areas of a child’s needs. The grades are based on the extent to which the needs of the child are currently being met and the commitment of the parent/carer to the child in relation to particular areas of care.

The areas of care are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (physical care, safety, emotional care and developmental care) which are then further divided into sub-areas.

The GCP2 does not explore reasons for why a particular level of care is given to a child. However it encourages further exploration of the reasons at the analysis stage and this is supported by the practitioners report and records.

I have not received training in the new GCP2 but wish to do a GCP assessment with a family. What should I do?

Children’s MARS hold Neglect and GCP2 training throughout the year. The training is aimed at practitioners who work with children and families within their own homes as it takes a number of home visits to complete the GCP2 assessment tool which should then be reviewed. It should be completed with the family including the child dependent upon their age and understanding.

I have done the GCP2 training in another local authority area. So can I use the GCP2 here in North Lincolnshire?

You will need to provide evidence (e.g. your certificate of attendance which shows you were assessed satisfactorily) to your manager before you can use the GCP2 here in North Lincolnshire.

I have done the GCP2 training and I am now accredited to use the GCP2. How do I now get access to copies of the GCP2 tool and the accompanying materials?

Trained practitioners will be provided with access to all of the relevant documents following the training session.

Can I use one GCP2 for more than one child?

It is intended that each child in the family has their own GCP2 assessment undertaken. This recognises that different children in the same family are at different ages and stages of development and therefore the care that parents/carers need to provide to them will need to be different. Even where children are at very similar ages and stages, parents/carers may provide differing types of care to each child.

It is possible for assessments for more than one child in a family to be undertaken at the same time, e.g. when an observation of the parent offering care to all their children is being undertaken, yet a GCP2 assessment may be different for different children in the same family. Their lived experience may well be different.

Can I undertake some parts of the GCP2 and not others?

The GCP2 measures care given to a child across the whole continuum of a child’s needs. It is this that supports planning and interventions so practitioners are clear where the strengths and concerns are in the care given. Therefore the whole of the GCP2 needs to be undertaken to ensure there is a clear and balanced view about how children’s needs are being met.

Naturally if there are aspects which are not relevant for a particular parent or child, then that area should be left out.

Sometimes a practitioner will only be able to contribute to one or a few parts of the tool (for example a midwife) and it is important that they can contribute their knowledge to the completion of the tool when working together with the lead professional.

What are the timescales for using the GCP2 tool?

Because care of children can fluctuate over time and to avoid results being distorted the GCP2 should be undertaken over several sessions and through announced and unannounced visits.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of sessions because each family situation will be very different. As an example and guide, where there is a parent/carer who is fully engaged with the GCP2 assessment and is able to explore matters in a relatively straightforward way (e.g. without any additional requirements for translation) and there is one child in the family who does not have additional or complex needs, a GCP2 could take about 4 sessions, lasting about 1 – 1½ hours each. Naturally additional time may be needed if a situation is more complex.

Where can I go to for any additional questions about using the GCP2?

Many of the agencies in North Lincolnshire have accredited GCP2 staff and some agencies also have accredited GCP2 trainers who are champions of the GCP2 tool. Collectively there is a sound knowledge base within many agencies across our local area.

There is a GCP2 Practitioners Group which those trained in the use of the GCP2 can attend. Practitioners who have been trained will receive details of the group’s meetings.

Further to this, supervisors and line managers can offer support and advice. The documents that were given to delegates undertaking GCP2 training offer a considerable amount of information and background about the GCP2 and how to use it.

If you want to understand more about GCP2 and how it is used in practice please watch the following produced by another local area clip:

Neglect – Graded Care Profile 2

North Lincolnshire Children’s MARS has commissioned and approved the use of the Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) tool to assess children and their families’ experiences and situations where there is known or suspected neglect.

The GCP2 measures the quality of care delivered to an individual child over a short window of time (representative of the current level of care) and scales it between 1 (best) and 5 (worst).

It can be used right across the continuum of need and should be used by trained, accredited professionals across the safeguarding pathway from early help to child protection. Other practitioners who are involved in a child’s multi-agency plan who are not trained in the GCP2 can contribute to the assessment and work with the family with the agreement of the lead practitioner.

It should be used as part of an assessment whether this is an early help or statutory children’s services assessment or beyond during the intervention period. It should be incorporated/referred to within the wider plan for the child and reviewed as part of the review of the plan (early help, child in need, child protection or child in care).

See also the Children’s MARS Policies and Procedures Assessing Need and Providing Help and the One Family Approach – Helping Children and Families in North Lincolnshire Document.

It should not be used outside of the early help or statutory planning and reviewing processes.

The GCP2 does not explore reasons for a particular level of care, but does encourage further interpretation of the reasons at the analysis stage, which can be captured in the report or accompanying recording sheets. It should be referred to within an early help or statutory assessment/plan/review which will indicate wider actions and outcomes to be achieved.


Where neglect is known/suspected, the GCP2 should be used across the safeguarding pathway from early help to a child who is a child in need, subject of a child protection plan or a child in care where returning home is planned. The GCP2 can be used across the multi-agency partnership, i.e. led by a trained and accredited professional with contributions from those involved in the child’s plan.

The Graded Care Profile 2 is not a referral tool. Where contact is made to the Single Access Point (SAP) or a referral about known/suspected neglect is being made to the Integrated Multi-Agency Partnership (IMAP) via SAP, it is expected that if the child’s case has been open through early help due to neglect that a completed GCP2 should accompany the contact or referral.

Where immediate referral or immediate action is required, practitioners may not have had the opportunity to undertake the GCP2 and not having a GCP2 should not preclude a referral being made or accepted.

Where an urgent referral is made without a GCP2 in a child’s case which is predominantly about neglect, the referrer will undertake or contribute to the GCP2 following referral. Where parents/carers do not consent to the GCP2 being done, the referrer will support the completion of the GCP2 using their knowledge of the family as long as this is made clear in the records.

The GCP2 is effective when used in partnership with families, and practitioners should use it openly and honestly to assess and make change. When there is no consent, the referrer’s knowledge of the family should be used alongside the GCP2 tool to continue to assess and offer the most effective response to safeguard children/young people and support families.

The GCP2 supports assessment, planning, intervention and reviewing in known or suspected neglect based children’s cases/family situations. Ongoing sound professional judgement and multi-agency collaboration are central to children and families receiving the right help, at the right level at the right time.

The GCP2 and its contents should be used in supervision to ensure sound professional judgements are supported in cases of known/suspected neglect.

The GCP2 should be repeated regularly (e.g. 3 to 6 monthly/as agreed in supervision) to monitor change in parental care given and to their children or those living with them and to support ongoing interventions.

The GCP2 can be undertaken by one professional or more (e.g. this can be agreed in an Early Help Review, Child In Need Meeting, Child Protection Conference, Core Group meeting or Child In Care Review)

Circumstances when the GCP2 is to be used in North Lincolnshire

By a trained accredited professional in any agency and as part of an assessment whether this be an early help or statutory children’s services assessment or beyond during the intervention period where neglect is suspected/known. This includes in any part of the North Lincolnshire safeguarding pathway e.g. early help, child in need, child protection also child in care, including in FaSST, and the YOS. It can be used by Health Visitors, School Nurses, Community Paediatric services and the Police Early Intervention team.

It should be incorporated/referred to within the wider plan for the child and reviewed as part of the review of the plan (early help, child in need, child protection or child in care).

Child Protection Conferences may recommend that the GCP2 be undertaken when a child:

  • is placed on a Child Protection Plan under the category of neglect
  • is placed on a Child Protection Plan under a different category but where neglect is known/suspected
  • has not had a completed GCP2 review for known/suspected neglect in the previous 3 – 6 months


For further information in relation to our Neglect and Graded Care Profile 2 training, please visit our Training page or contact