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3.1 Children in Need Planning and Review Process

RELATED CHAPTER

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

AMENDMENT

In February 2017, this chapter was extensively updated and should be read throughout.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. General Guidance on Reviews
  3. Child and Young Person in Need


1. Introduction

All children / young people who receive support from Children’s Services and Education Social Care should have their own individual plan that is tailored to meeting his / her specific needs. All plans should be specific and measurable, achievable, related to the assessed needs of the child / young person and time related.

They should detail:

  • Clear objectives or outcomes for the child / young person;
  • Timescales;
  • The services that are to be provided;
  • The date for review.

The Assessment Framework guidance sets out some general principles for practice in planning with children / young people and their families:

  • Wherever possible they should be drawn up in agreement with the child / young person and key family members and their commitment to the plan be secured;
  • Objectives should be reasonable and timescales not too short or unachievable;
  • Plans should not be dependent on resources which are known to be scarce or unavailable;
  • The plan must maintain a focus on the child, even though help may be provided to a number of family members as part of the plan;
  • There should be a clear statement on the plan about when and how it will be reviewed.

The analysis, judgement and decisions of the Assessment will form the basis of the plan and the complexity of the child / young person's needs will determine its scope and detail.

The planning and review process is detailed below. It should be noted that, if it becomes apparent that additional services are required between formal reviews, such services should be provided in agreement with the responsible allocated worker and Team Manager and within the usual resource allocation processes.


2. General Guidance on Reviews

Reviewing the child / young person's progress and the effectiveness of services and other interventions is a continuous and essential part of work undertaken with children / young people and their families.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate the progress of the child / young person towards the plan's desired objectives or outcomes. The service provision will be evaluated in terms of its effectiveness in supporting or assisting the child / young person towards the achievement of the objectives or outcomes. On the basis of the review findings the child / young person's plan will be refined in order to achieve the optimal outcomes for his / her wellbeing.

When arranging meetings every effort should be made to encourage and enable family members to attend and participate. Particular consideration should be given to the time, venue, and any support that the family may require in respect of childcare or financial costs in respect of transport.


3. Child and Young Person in Need

Following the social worker being allocated the case, reading the information and the initial management oversight, an assessment plan case note will be updated. This gives focus and direction prior to undertaking the assessment. The initial outline Child in Need Plan should be completed from day 10 of the assessment process for all cases where it is identified that a child and family would benefit from the support of a plan. Completing the initial plan triggers the Child in Need status for the child on Protocol.

Immediate Support

For some children / young people the Child and Family Assessment provides a clear understanding of their needs which can be readily met via various means of support ranging from Early Help, CAF, Child in Need, Child in Need of Protection, initiation of PLO and childcare proceedings.

An initial outline SMART plan will be implemented at the outcome of the assessment and is ratified by the Team Manager on the Referral and Assessment Team. This outline plan will not necessarily contain the detail of the work to be undertaken, unless this is already in place, but must detail the relevant issues and desired outcomes as identified during the Child and Family Assessment process.

An initial intervention planning meeting should be convened by day 15 if it is identified that a Child in Need plan is required. It is at this point that the case will transfer to the long term social work team.

Services, if required, should be provided immediately and not await the outcome of the initial intervention planning meeting and this should be reflected in the case note recording and the Child in Need plan prior to day 15.

The purpose of the Initial Intervention Planning Meeting, which is chaired by the allocated worker in the Referral and Assessment Team, is to refine and agree the initial Child in Need Plan. Family members, the child / young person (if appropriate) and key professionals should be invited.

Following the meeting the allocated worker in the Referral and Assessment Team must ensure the initial Child in Need Plan is updated in the child and young person’s record and authorised by their Team Manager prior to transfer of the case on Protocol. This will be circulated to all parties within 5 working days. Once the plan has been updated, it is the responsibility of the receiving social worker in the long term social work team to complete the meeting notes of the Initial Intervention Planning Meeting on Protocol and ensure that these are circulated to all parties within 5 working days.

Review of Child / Young Person's Initial Plan

The initial plan should be reviewed within a maximum of 6 weeks and this will be undertaken via the 6 weekly Child in Need Meeting.

The allocated worker must ensure that, following the review, the Child in Need plan is updated. The review form should be circulated to all parties within 5 working days of the review meeting.

Children with Disabilities

A joint assessment is undertaken with the Children with Disabilities (CWD) service and the social worker to ensure that there are no safeguarding issues but in. If through the assessment there are no safeguarding issues identified but the child remains a child in need due to their disability, the case can transfer to the Appletrees Hub if support is required at level 3 (Child in Need).

The allocated worker will ensure that the Child in Need Plan is completed, recorded in PROTOCOL and sent to the line manager for authorisation. The Child in Need Plan will be circulated to all parties including the child / young person if appropriate, parents\carers and members of the multi-agency team.

The allocated worker is responsible for inputting onto PROTOCOL all contacts. The worker will ensure that the child is regularly seen as agreed on the Child In Need Plan and record the visit as a Child in Need visit on PROTOCOL.

The allocated worker within Appletrees Hub is responsible for ensuring that there are regular Child in Need meetings which will include the child / young person if appropriate, parents / carers and multi-agency professionals involved with the family. The allocated worker is responsible for the updating of the Child In Need Plan which should be updated within PROTOCOL.

All Child in Need cases open to Appletrees Hub will be reviewed formally at no less than 6 monthly intervals and chaired by the relevant Team Manager within the service.

The minutes of the Child in Need Review will be recorded on Protocol. Copies of the minutes will be sent to all attendees within 5 working days. The CIN plan on Protocol should be updated / reviewed at the six weekly Child in Need Reviews.

A joint Child in Need Review and Special Educational Needs annual review will be co-ordinated to take place for those children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or an existing IPRA. This will be jointly chaired by the Team Manager and school SEN representative.

De-escalation of Child in Need Cases

Decisions as to case closure, and the timing of when services should cease, must be made at a review meeting in order that multi-agency decision making is facilitated. The CIN meeting must give consideration to whether a CAF should be triggered and a lead professional identified. The process is outlined in the CAF Procedure.

Prior to closure, the allocated worker must ensure that all case recordings have been completed and finalised. A final case note using the case closure checklist should be completed. The allocated worker will then undertake closure of a Child in Need plan and the case closure summary will be triggered. Outcome letters should be sent to parents, carers, child / young person (if appropriate) and professionals involved informing that the case has been closed and the arrangements for the CAF. Once completed, the Team Manager will authorise and the case will close.

End