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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

2.1.2 Child in Need Coordination Service


This chapter was significantly updated in October 2015 in respect of Section 1, Coordination of Child in Need Meetings. This section describes the role of the Child In need Coordination Service, its aims and objectives and key criteria.


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

1.Coordination of Child in Need Meetings

1.1 The objective of the Child in Need Coordinators Service is to support the provision of a seamless service to children, parents/carers and improve outcomes for the children of Salford by ensuring that a robust Child in Need Plan is implemented where outstanding or further work has been identified under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and providing independent challenge and scrutiny to more complex CIN cases.

The Child in Need Coordinator service will support the statutory function by providing coordinators for child in need planning where the following criteria apply:

  1. There is complexity of the child’s situation; for example, multiple moves (of school, childcare, home etc) or conflict in caring arrangements;
  2. There is complexity of the child’s need; for example, a range of social and health needs or concerns that the child’s needs are not given sufficient priority in the caring arrangements;
  3. There are specific issues that may give rise to disagreements in the CIN meeting; for example practitioners with different views on how best to support the child and family.

These criteria are likely to be met in the following circumstances:

  1. When a Child Protection Conference decides that a Child Protection Plan is not required and also recommends that a Child in Need plan should be put in place. The decision for involvement of a CIN Coordinator in these circumstances is a multi-agency one but will be informed by a recommendation from the social work report;

    In such circumstances the CIN coordinator will chair the first meetings after the Child Protection review conference. Beyond that, the CIN meeting will decide who should coordinate and chair the meetings;
  2. When a Child and Family Assessment or a Safeguarding consultation identifies that a CIN plan should be put in place, and sufficient risks to justify the involvement of a CIN Coordinator because the threshold for ICPC has not quite been reached. This decision should be based on the requirements of the case planning and review process and not be informed by the skills and experience of the social worker; 
  3. When a Looked After Child Review identifies that a CIN plan after reunification would facilitate the multi-agency delivery of services to the child or young person;
  4. When a child or young person is subject to a Supervision Order and therefore requires a plan in line with the Supervision Order policy. There should be a recorded decision at the conclusion of the period of the Order regarding the decision to apply to renew or not. In these cases the meetings will be known as Supervision Order Review Meetings (SORMs);
  5. When a child or young person has been the subject of a Child in Need Plan for longer than 6 months.
1.4 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.
1.5 The CIN Coordinators will be responsible for the invitations to parents, carers and all professionals will have notification of the date, time and venue from the Review Conference or LAC Review.
1.6 Any notes or contentious issues will be recorded within the Child in Need Meeting Minutes by the chair and distributed to those involved, including the child and parent/s who will need to sign their agreement.

2. Child in Need Plans

2.1 A Child in Need Plan will be developed in a Child in Need Planning Meeting.
2.2 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.
2.3 The Child in Need Plan will be reviewed by the allocated CIN Coordinator who will identify 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;
  • 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.
2.5 The allocated CIN Coordinator will be responsible for the distribution of the Child in Need Meeting minutes and recommendations and the allocated Social Worker will be responsible for completion of the CIN Plan. A copy of the Child in Need Plan should be provided by the allocated Social Worker to the parents, child (if old enough) and the agencies or other professionals involved in the provision of services under the Plan.
2.6 The allocated CIN Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the plan and delegation of tasks as described in the plan.
2.7 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

3.1 Reviews will be conducted at intervals agreed with the allocated CIN Coordinator, which will be at least every three months, unless there are exceptional circumstances when timescales can be longer e.g. in the case of disabled children.
3.2 If there are significant changes in the family circumstances, an early review should take place.
3.3 Any child protection or safeguarding issues which arise during the course of a Child in Need Plan must be responded to in line with Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures.
3.4 The Review will usually be carried out by the allocated CIN Coordinator, 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.
3.5 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.
3.6 Where it is proposed that a complex package of support being provided under a Child in Need Plan should continue beyond 12 months consideration will be given to consultation with the Practice Manager and Safeguarding Service Manager. 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.
3.7 All decisions made should be recorded on the child's electronic record, together with reasons, and dated.
3.8 A copy of the reviewed plan 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 Services intervention, which will result in a recommendation to the team manager that the case be closed;
  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 Children and Families Assessment to be undertaken;
  4. 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 as part of a Children and Families Assessment.
3.10 Where the outcome of the Review is an amendment to the Child in Need Plan, the allocated social worker 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.