South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

3.1 Child in Need Plans and Reviews

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter should be read in conjunction with Children's Social Care Quality Standards section 4.

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 Local Safeguarding Children Board's Inter Agency Procedures in relation to the implementation of the Child Protection Plan. 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.


Contents

  1. Child in Need Planning Meetings
  2. Child in Need Plans
  3. Reviews of Child in Need Plans
  4. Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel


1. Child in Need Planning Meetings

Child in Need Planning Meetings 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. A Child in need Plan will be completed within 7 days of the completion/review of the assessment.

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 first Planning Meeting will usually be chaired by the social worker's line manager.

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, who will need to sign their agreement.


2. Child in Need Plans

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

Most Child in Need Plans will envisage that Children's Services intervention will end within twelve months. However, some children and families may require longer term support, for example children with disabilities.

The Child in Need Plan must identify 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 for actions to be completed, either a target date or frequency;
  • 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 Lead Professional 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.


3. Reviews of Child in Need Plans

The first review of the plan will be held within 28 days of the plan being developed, the second within a further 3 months and subsequent reviews are held at intervals of no more than 6 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 Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.

The Review will usually be carried out by the Lead Professional, 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 Review will generally take place within a meeting, unless the Line Manager agrees otherwise. The Lead Professional or line manager will usually chair the meeting. If the case is not allocated, the manager of the responsible team must undertake the review or arrange for it to be undertaken on his/her behalf.

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.

Where it is proposed that a complex package of support being provided under a Child in Need Plan should continue beyond 12 months there should be a referral to the Complex Needs Panel (See Appendix A: Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel Referral Form). 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;
  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’s needs are sufficiently complex and/or s/he requires additional services to safeguard and promote his or her welfare such as to justify a further assessment to be undertaken;
  4. 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 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.


4. Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel

Principles

All professionals should be actively promoting the importance of children and young people living and being educated within their local community. A placement within the home area allows for continuity of social care, health care and education and makes it easier for the child or young person to maintain contact with birth parents and significant others.

In order to support this principle all professionals must ensure

  • Effective multi-agency working in facilitating good and effective care health and education planning to ensure all needs are being met;
  • A joint approach in searching for new creative solutions in order to meet a range of complex needs;
  • A joint approach to providing appropriate advice and guidance to young people and their families;
  • A joint approach to person centred, needs led based approach at all times that seeks to promote independence, choice and inclusion of the service users and carers.

Children with Complex Needs are those who have been assessed by appropriate / relevant professions and:

  • They have needs that cannot be met locally from within the resources of a single statutory agency; and
  • Where optimal inclusion arrangements have been employed and have not achieved a satisfactory outcome.

Membership

Social Care - Head of Children in Care and Strategic Operational Manager for Disabled Children and Young People

SEN -Manager for Inclusion

Health (PCT) - Joint Service Director - Commissioning and Performance, NHS Wiltshire

Adult Care - Head of Service - to advise on young people aged 16+

Substitutes to be arranged by individual budget holder, as necessary.

Contracts/Finance support from LA/PCT - to advise panel on contract related matters, to liaise with finance and to cover administrative support.

The panel meets monthly. Meetings are chaired by Joint Service Director - Commissioning and Performance.

Role of the Panel

To consider applications for a jointly funded package of support for a child/ young person who has a range of complex needs where at least two out of the three agencies are required to agree a joint agency solution.

To consider applications for a joint funded placement for a child/ young person who has a range of complex needs where at least two out of the three agencies are required to agree a joint agency solution.

To monitor and review the appropriateness of current jointly funded packages/ placements.

To contribute to the development of a strategic approach to joint commissioning of services for children and young people with complex, multiple and high level needs.

Process

Before any case is presented to Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel it is essential that there is clear evidence of effective multi-agency input to try and meet the needs of the child/ young person there must evidence of the involvement of all relevant professionals in making the application.

For new applications use Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel Referral Form (Appendix A)

Before making an application to the Joint Agency Complex Needs Panel professionals must arrange a multi professional meeting to consider

  • The full range of needs of the child/ young person;
  • The child's/ young person's/ parents/ carers views;
  • The range of provision already in place;
  • Consider a full range of options for a community based package of support;
  • Total cost of current and potential support options;
  • Potential implications for longer term support from adult care (for young people over 14 years of age).

For review of a support package/ placement, use Appendix B to demonstrate that:

  • Child/ young person's needs have been considered by all professionals involved;
  • Outcomes of the current support package/ placement are clearly evidenced;
  • Whether current support package/ placement needs to continue.

Applications will not be considered by the panel unless the referral is fully completed and minutes of the multi professional meeting are attached.

All applications must be discussed and endorsed by appropriate managers.

End