4.1 Child in Need (CIN)
Last updated 12/11/2018
Child in Need (CIN)
The Initial Child in Need 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. The Initial Child in Need meeting should take place within15 working days of the decision that a CIN meeting is required.
All Child in Need Planning Meetings should be attended by the child (depending on age and understanding), parents/carers and all agencies whose potential/actual contribution is recommended as an outcome of an assessment.
The relevant social worker should discuss potential multi agency attendees for the Initial Child in Need Meeting with the child and the parents/carers prior to arrangements being made for the meeting.
The Initial Child in Need Meeting will usually be chaired by the social worker's Manager or the allocated social worker.
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 agencies involved, including the child and parent/s, who will need to sign their agreement.
Most Child in Need Plans should be short term intervention and should be reviewed after six to eight weeks to determine whether change is progressing sufficiently well to step down to Early Help as an exit strategy, or if there is no progress, whether the plan needs to be amended to enable progress or whether Child Protection procedures should be considered. All CIN Review Meetings should analyse progress against the LSCB Continuum of Need, to ascertain which service is most appropriate to meet their need.
Some families may require longer term support, for example children with disabilities.
The Child in Need Plan must identify the Keyworker, 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. If a keyworker makes a referral for support it is the agencies responsibility to provide this support as soon as possible to prevent need from escalating.
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;
- Included timescales that are realistic;
- Not be dependent on resources which are known to be scarce or unavailable;
- Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of 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;
- Evidence the voice of the child and how this impacts the plan/interventions, and whether the child feels the plan is making the situation better;
Evidence the views of the parents/carers in relation to how the plan is progressing and what change they can identify.
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 partnership is responsible for implementing the plan as timely as possible.
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 the partnership.
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 the child protection procedure as follows.
Social Care Team Managers should chair Review CIN Meetings, to ensure care progression in cases where the CIN plan has been open for 6 months or more, and/or when there following a change in allocated worker.
Where it is proposed that a complex package of support being provided under a Child in Need Plan should continue beyond four months, there should be a specific review chaired by the Social Care manager of the responsible team. 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 the Children with Disabilities Team.
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:
- That the child is no longer a ‘Child in Need’ requiring Social Care intervention, if this is the view of the multi-agency meeting, the following must be considered:
- Where the evaluation of risk of harm is obscured by non-engagement by parents, that meeting must be chaired by a CSC team manager;
- The meeting must address the impact of non-engagement by parents; and,
- The rationale for all decisions and actions must be clearly recorded on the child files in all relevant agencies. (reference: Sefton LSCB SCR1 Martha, Mary & Ben 2018)
- 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;
- 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 Children and Family Assessment to be undertaken. In all cases the Social Care Team Manager is responsible for decisions to progress to a Children and Family Assessment. Any assessments must be multi agency informed and the whole partnership has a responsibility to contribute to the assessment using the ‘Signs of Safety’ methodology.
- 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 as part of a Children and Family Assessment. In all cases the Social Care Team Manager is responsible for decisions regarding Strategy Discussion/Meeting and Section 47 enquiry.