Level 4 - Child in Need, further information

A Child in Need is unlikely to achieve, maintain or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired, without the provisions of services, or a child who is disabled.  Children in Need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 by a social worker.

Child development

Child Development
 Strengths Needs
  • Child or young person does have good self-care skills
  • Can have an understanding of why professionals display concerns
  • Has some good socialisation with peers
  • Knowledge of services available to support
  • No known or repeat anti-social behaviour
  • Observed to be confident
  • Unexplained periods of missing from home
  • Medium risk indicators of Child Criminal Exploitation / Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Parent at risk of homelessness
  • Child with a disability
  • Child in need of Education Health and Care Plan
  • Child persistently neglected/socially isolated
  • Insecure attachments
  • Has faltering growth with no physical or organic explanation
  • Extreme weight gain or loss impacting on the child’s health
  • Significant deliberate self-harm with suicidal ideation but no plans or intent
  • Presenting with severely disruptive and/or challenging behaviours
  • Where there is no medical reason proven the child's health is adversely affected by obesity/underweight as a result of neglect or capacity to change, and will continue to be so without the intervention of services

Parenting capacity

Parenting Capacity
 Strengths Needs
  • Parents have a belief that there is a need for change but need guidance
  • Parents have the capacity to meet some of the needs of the children
  • Parents display a willingness to engage in meetings/planning
  • Child has a stable school or day care placement
  • Basic care / safety needs left unmet
  • Disguised compliance
  • Parents displaying low warmth and high criticism
  • Lack of positive stimulation
  • Parents mental health  / substance misuse / learning difficulties place child / young person at harm
  • Regular conflict with children involving violence from either party
  • Domestic abuse evident
  • Elective home education refusing to engage in scrutiny or social integration 
  • Relationship breakdown between parent and child leading to potential placement breakdown with potential safeguarding issues for younger siblings

Family/environmental factors

Family/Environmental Factors
 Strengths Needs
  • Child is comfortable in social settings
  • Parents do not have a negative experience of being parented
  • Child is living (independently) in unsuitable accommodation
  • Living in Private Fostering arrangement
  • Chaotic and inconsistent support networks
  • Family members involved in criminality that impacts upon the child
  • Previous social care involvement in past