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2.1 Child's Plans and Reviews


This chapter does not apply to children who are the subject of a Child Protection Plan as part of the Child's Plan. Where the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, this will be drawn up in outline at the Initial Child Protection Conference and in detail at the Core Group meeting(s). It will be reviewed by a Child Protection Review Conference. For further information see the London Child Protection Procedures, Best Practice for the Implementation of Child Protection Plans Procedure.

For children who are in receipt of Short Breaks, see also the Hillingdon Pathways to Short Breaks Procedure.

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


This chapter was revised and updated in November 2014 to link to the new chapter on Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

This chapter is currently under review.


  1. Child in Need Planning Meetings
  2. Child's Plans
  3. Reviews of Child's Plans

1. Child in Need Planning Meetings

  1. Child in Need Planning Meetings will follow an Assessment, where the assessment has concluded that a package of family support is required to meet the child's needs under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989;
  2. The planning 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's Plan;
  3. All Child In Need Planning Meetings should be attended by the child (depending on age and understanding), parents/carers and those agencies/resources whose potential/actual contribution is recommended as an outcome of an assessment;
  4. The relevant social worker should discuss potential attendees for the planning meeting with the child and the parents/carers prior to arrangements being made for the meeting;
  5. 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 planning meeting and is of school age the meeting should be held outside of school time, wherever possible;
  6. The first planning meeting will usually be chaired by the social worker's team manager/assistant team manager/senior social worker;
  7. The social worker is responsible for convening the meeting and arranging invitations;
  8. A note of the meeting will be taken by the Chair. This record will be copied to those involved, including the child and parent/s, who will need to sign their agreement.

2. Child's Plans

  1. A Child's Plan will be developed in a Child in Need Planning Meeting;
  2. Most Child's Plans will envisage that Children and Families intervention will end within twelve months. However, some children and families may require longer term support, for example children with disabilities - see Children with Disabilities Team Procedure;
  3. The Child's Plan must identify the Lead Professional, 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;
  4. In particular, the Child's 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 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.
  5. Where the family support services are to be provided as part of a Child's Plan, the Access to Family Support Services Procedure should be followed or, for disabled children, see the Children with Disabilities Team Procedure;
  6. The Chair of the Child in Need Planning Meeting is responsible for the distribution of the Child's Plan. A copy of the Child's 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;
  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's Plans

  1. Reviews will be conducted at intervals agreed with the team manager, but at least every three months, except in the case of disabled children - see the Children with Disabilities Team Procedure for the timescales for reviewing Child's Plans for disabled children;
  2. If there are significant changes in the family circumstances, an early review should take place;
  3. Any child protection or safeguarding issues which arise during the course of a Child's Plan must be responded to in line with the London Child Protection Procedures, Referral and Assessment Procedure;
  4. The review will be convened by the social worker, who should invite or seek the views of the child, parents and any service providers;
  5. The review will generally take place within a meeting, unless the manager agrees otherwise. The Lead Professional or team manager/assistant team manager/senior social worker will chair the meeting, as agreed in advance by the team manager. If the case is not allocated, the team manager must undertake the review or arrange for it to be undertaken on his/her behalf;
  6. 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;
  7. Where it is proposed that a complex package of support being provided under a Child's Plan should continue beyond 12 months there should be a specific review chaired by a team 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;
  8. All decisions made should be recorded; they should be signed, dated and placed on file, including the reasons for reaching any decision;
  9. The outcome of a review will be:
    1. That the child is no longer a Child in Need requiring Children and Families intervention, which could result in a recommendation to the team manager that the child be referred to CAST or 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's Plan;
    3. In addition to (3) above, 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.
  10. The outcome of the review should be recorded in all cases and a copy of the record sent to the child (if old enough), parent and all other participants in the review process;
  11. Review outcomes should be recorded on the child's electronic record;
  12. Where the outcome of the review is an amendment to the Child's Plan, the 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.