In some cases, where Early Help is not appropriate because the risks or needs of the child are too complex, a MASH referral may result in a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.
- Section 17 is a Child In Need (CIN) Assessment, which can result in the child being placed on a Child in Need Plan. This sets out a series of measures aimed at addressing areas of risk so that the child can be kept safe, well, and fulfilling their potential in life. A CIN Plan involves input from all significant people in the child’s life, including school; it is reviewed regularly and ideally is a time-limited strategy. A social worker will be appointed to monitor progress and act as Lead Professional.
- Section 47 is an assessment which is initiated when a child is judged to be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm. A social worker will be appointed and investigations will take place involving all relevant people in the child’s life. This may result in a child being placed on a Child Protection Plan, but this is not inevitable.