Child in need plans are a key way of ensuring that identified needs are addressed. They also serve to assist and measure change that takes place within a family, ensuring that the family and all agencies are working towards the same outcome for the child.

Where the local authority children's social care decides to provide services, a multi-agency child in need plan should be developed which sets out which agencies will provide which services to the child and family. The plan should set clear measurable outcomes for the child and expectations for the parents. The plan should reflect the positive aspects of the family situation as well as the weaknesses.

Working Together 2013:30 The flow chart to the right shows the process of developing and monitoring the plan for social workers (the greyed out section refers to Child Protection Plans which are discussed elsewhere).  Click on the thumbnail for more a larger version.Child in need plans are drawn up as a result of the assessment being completed and forming the view that further support is required. The draft plan is considered at a planning meeting involving all the relevant agencies working with the child and their family where the services to be provided are agreed. The child (where appropriate) and their family must be involved in this meeting and be aware of which agencies are attending the meeting beforehand. The planning meeting should be chaired by the social worker with the resulting plan being approved by their manager. The social worker is then responsible (with business support assistance) for sending out a record of the meeting and a copy of the agreed plan to all who attended or who were invited to the meeting but could not attend.The plan should cover the planned outcomes, what actions are required to meet these and agreed timescales.  Each action should have a name associated with it identifying who the person responsible for completing the action is.  Actions may also include referrals to other agencies not present.The plan is then reviewed every six weeks - see review section .


1.Assessment completed with outcome that further support is requiredAs per agreed timescale
2.Draft plan drawn up based on outcome of assessmentAs per agreed timescale for completion of assessment
3.Planning meeting booked, with attendees including family and involved agencies 
4.Plan discussed at planning meeting and formalised 
5.Formal plan forwarded to manager for approval 
6.Manager reviews and approves plan 
7.If necessary plan taken to resource panel for approval 
8.Copy of approved plan sent to family, child (where appropriate) and other agencies involved 
9.Visits to child completedMinimum of every four weeks
10.Review meeting heldEvery six weeks
11.Actions 9 & 10 repeated along with any other work required until needs are met 
12.Once needs met, case discussion to consider case closure.  If need not met case discussion to consider next stepsAs required.