Statutory assessments

Topic Progress:

Sometimes, a concern about a child’s safety means that Early Help is not appropriate. This may be because:

* The parent does not consent to a referral to Early Help

* The needs of the child or young person (“pupil”) are too complex 

* The risks to the child or young person (“pupil”)  are too complex

If Early Help is not appropriate, 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.

A Section 47 is an assessment which is initiated when a child is judged to be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm.

As part if the Section 47 a social worker is appointed and investigations will take place involving all relevant people in the child’s life. This will include school but also the child’s family and other professionals.

A Section 47 investigation may result in a child being placed on a Child Protection Plan, but this is not inevitable.

A Child Protection Plan sets out the risks and mitigations of risk, as well as the responsibilities of those involved for keeping the child safe.