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3.1 Child in Need Plans and Reviews

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter does not apply to children who are the subject of a Child Protection Plan. Where the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, this will be drawn up in outline at the Initial Child Protection Conference and in detail at the Core Group meeting(s). It will be reviewed by a Child Protection Review Conference. Please see the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board's Inter Agency Procedures in relation to the implementation of the Child Protection Plan. (See CIN Standards).

For children who are in receipt of Short Breaks, see also the Short Breaks Procedure.

See also Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure.


Contents

  1. Child in Need Plans
  2. Reviews of Child in Need Plans


1. Child in Need Plans

A Child in Need Plan will follow an Assessment where the assessment has concluded that a package of family support is required to meet the child's needs under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 or this may also be as a result of outcomes of support required via a Child Arrangement Order or Special Guardianship Order.

The first multi-agency Meeting provides an opportunity for a child and his or her parents/carers, together with key agencies, to identify and agree the package of services required and to develop the Child in Need Plan.

All Child in Need meetings should be attended by the child (depending on age and understanding), parents/carers and those agencies whose potential/actual contribution is recommended as an outcome of an assessment.

The relevant Social Worker should discuss potential attendees for the Meeting with the child and the parents/carers prior to arrangements being made.

It will be important that an appropriate venue suitable for the child and his or her family are used for the meeting. Consideration must be given to transport, timing and any child care issues. Where a child is attending a meeting and is of school age the meeting should be held outside of school time, wherever possible.

CIN meetings are usually chaired by the allocated worker and a Team Manager will chair if this necessary.

The Social Worker is responsible for convening the meeting and arranging invitations.

A note of the meeting will be taken by the Chair. This record will be copied to those involved, including the child and parent/s.

A Child in Need Plan will be developed in a Child in Need Meeting.

In particular, the Child in Need Plan should:

  • Describe the identified developmental needs of the child, and any services required;
  • Include specific, achievable, child-focused outcomes intended to promote and safeguard the welfare of the child;
  • Include realistic strategies and specific actions to achieve the planned outcomes;
  • Include a contingency plan to be followed if circumstances change significantly and require prompt action;
  • Include timescales that are not too short or unachievable;
  • Not be dependent on resources which are known to be scarce or unavailable;
  • Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of other professionals and family members, including the nature and frequency of contact by professionals with children and family members;
  • Lay down points at which progress will be reviewed and the means by which it will be judged.

The Chair of the Child in Need Meeting is responsible for the distribution of the Child in Need Plan. A copy of the Child in Need Plan should be provided to the parents, child (if old enough) and the agencies or other professionals involved in the provision of services under the Plan.

The allocated worker will be responsible for implementing the plan including making referrals to appropriate agencies for services as described in the plan.

Where it becomes necessary to make minor adjustments to the plan and services provided, any changes to the plan must be made in consultation with the parents and the child (where appropriate) and key professionals from other agencies.


2. Reviews of Child in Need Plans

Reviews will be conducted at intervals agreed with the line manager, which will be at least every 8 weeks, unless there are exceptional circumstances when timescales can be longer. This can include disabled children whose circumstances remain consistent and the services provided do not require such a regular review.

If there are significant changes in the family circumstances, an early review should take place.

Any child protection or safeguarding issues which arise during the course of a Child in Need Plan must be responded to in line with Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.

The Review will usually be carried out by the allocated worker, who should invite or seek the views of the child, parents and any service providers.

The purpose of the Review is to ensure that the services provided are contributing to the achievement of the objectives within the time-scales set; a review of the risks to the child; that all key actions have been carried out and what new actions need to be progressed and added to the plan.

All decisions made should be recorded on the child’s electronic record, together with reasons, and dated.

A copy of the record should be sent to the child (if old enough), parent and all other participants in the Review process.

The outcome of a Review will be:

  1. That the child is no longer a Child in Need requiring Children's Social Care Services intervention, which will result in a recommendation to the Team Manager that the case be closed although the child may continue to receive services from a single agency or under a Early Help plan not involving Children’s Social Care;
  2. That the child continues to be a Child in Need requiring the same level of services, resulting in the continuing provision of services and minor amendment, as necessary, of the Child in Need Plan;
  3. That the child appears to be at risk of Significant Harm, resulting in the need for a Strategy Discussion/Meeting and possible Section 47 Enquiry.

Where the outcome of the Review is an amendment to the Child in Need Plan, the allocated worker should circulate a copy of the amended Plan to the child, parents, and other agencies/professionals involved in providing the services set out in the amended Plan, including any new services to be provided.

End