View Derbyshire Children's Homes Procedures manual
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View Derbyshire Safeguarding Procedures manual
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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 Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board's Procedures in relation to the implementation of the Child Protection Plan.

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

See also Child Protection Statutory Visits Pro forma.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was reviewed locally and updated in July 2014. References to Initial and Core Assessment were removed to reflect the introduction of the Single Assessment process in Derbyshire.


Contents

  1. Child in Need Planning Meetings
  2. Child in Need Plans
  3. Reviews of Child in Need Plans


1. Child in Need Planning Meetings

Child in Need Planning Meetings will follow a  social care (Part A & C) Assessment where the assessment has concluded that social care services are required to meet the child's needs under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

The Planning 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 Planning 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 Planning Meeting with the child and the parents/carers prior to arrangements being made for the meeting.

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.

The social worker is responsible for convening the meeting within the necessary timescales and, arranging invitations.

The social worker’s manager will chair the meeting and will ensure accurate notes of the meeting are taken. This record will be copied to those involved, including the child and parent/s who need to agree them.


2. Child in Need Plans

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

The Child in Need Plan will identify the Social Worker as the Lead Professional, any resources or services that will be needed to achieve the planned outcomes within the agreed timescales and who is responsible for which action and the time-scale involved.

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;
  • Identify the Lead Professional and his or her responsibilities, including frequency of visits to the child;
  • 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 Planning 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 Social Worker as Lead Professional will be responsible for implementing the plan including making referrals to appropriate agencies for services as described in the plan. If at any stage it becomes clear that someone other than a social worker would be appropriate as the Lead Professional, the case must be “Stepped Down” to Universal and Targeted services and a Team around the Family Plan developed as an alternative.

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. 


3. Reviews of Child in Need Plans

A Child in Need plan must be reviewed within Three months and thereafter  at intervals agreed with the Social Worker’s line manager, but  will be at least every Six months except in the case of some disabled children whose circumstances remain consistent and the services provided do not require such a regular review. The maximum length between reviews for such children is twelve months.

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 Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board's Procedures.

The Review will be chaired by the social worker’s Manager or exceptionally a Senior Practitioner who should invite or seek the views of the child, parents and any service providers. The responsible team will administer all Child in Need Reviews. 

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.

Exceptions to this will be those cases where the plan acknowledges the need for longer term support, for example in relation to children who meet the criteria for a service in relation to a disability.

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 multi-agency plan not involving Children's Social Care, e.g. Team Around the Family Plan;
  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 suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, resulting in the need for a Strategy Discussion/Meeting and possible Section 47 Enquiry which will require an updating of Part C of the Social Care Single Assessment.

Where the outcome of the Review is an amendment to the Child in Need Plan, the Social Worker as the Lead Professional 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