In the context of social services in the UK, a Child in Need (CIN) plan is a term used to refer to a specific type of intervention and support provided to children and their families who are assessed as needing extra assistance. It is a plan that is developed under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 by the local authority (often through its social services department) in collaboration with the child, the child’s parents or caregiver and any other relevant professionals involved.
The purpose of a Child in Need plan is to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. It aims to address any concerns or risks identified in relation to the child’s well-being, development or safety. The plan is tailored to the specific needs of the child and family and typically includes a range of support services or interventions.
The process of developing the plan usually involves an assessment carried out by social workers or other professionals to determine the child’s needs and the level of support required. This assessment takes into account various factors such as the child’s physical and emotional health, education, living conditions and any potential risks or vulnerabilities.
Once the plan is established, it outlines the specific actions, services, and resources that will be provided to support the child and its family. This may include access to counselling, therapy, educational support, housing assistance, parenting programs, or any other necessary interventions. The plan is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure its effectiveness and relevance as the circumstances of the child and family may change over time.
It’s important to note that a Child in Need plan is not a legal order or a form of child protection intervention. It is a voluntary plan designed to offer support and assistance to families who require additional help in meeting the needs of their child. However, if concerns escalate or new risks arise during the course of the plan, social services may consider taking further legal action, such as initiating child protection proceedings,, if it is deemed necessary to safeguard the child’s welfare.
If you and your family are being investigated by children’s social services and you need Legal Advice then please do get in touch either by calling the number above (9am – 5pm Monday – Friday) or by requesting a callback using the form at the bottom of this page. The first call is always free of charge and we can advise you if you are likely to be eligible for Legal Aid. It’s important to take advice early so you can understand the process and try and achieve the best outcome.