Child In Need Plan, CIN.
Child in Need Plans Explained.
While on a child protection plan it basically means it is agreed by the professionals working with your family that your child needs a care protection plan because issues and concerns need addressing in order to protect your child, once your case is lowered down on to a child in need plan it means that they feel that your child does not need protecting with a child protection plan any longer and the protection concerns and issues have now been addressed and resolved it means your child’s needs can now be met and maintained through supporting your family with a child in need plan through core group meetings alone instead of a child protection plan. Being lowered down from child protection plan on to child in need plan is not a voluntary option not if it is decided at your case conference that you are to be placed down on to a child in need (of support) plan and most definitely not if you have been lowered down to a child in need plan from a care protection plan, not unless you have specifically asked for a support network to be put into place because you are finding it hard to cope. Then it's done through an early help assessment if you reach a level one criteria which is the lowest level of needs on the safeguarding curriculum criteria. Usually social workers won't even get involved if your are assessed as a low level need. Instead a Multi Agency Support Hub known as a M.A.S.H team of support from a range of different agencies and services are set up to support you, unless they see any safeguarding concerns then there's no reason for social care to get involved.
child in need is nothing like being on a care protection plan where you don't have a choice, you have to do what they ask of you, With child in need they are supposed to just be there to support you and if you ask for support they should support and help you by providing you with that help and support, but if they do say that you need to do something like they would in a care protection plan then remember you don't have to do what they ask of you, you have the right to say "no I really don't feel that its necessary or beneficial" unlike child protection plans where they hold a case conference and all the people invited like an independent body taking the minutes of a case conference, an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair, your social worker, usually the school's designated safeguarding officer, maybe a health visitor /worker/ midwife or a school nurse, your gp will also be invited aswell as a police representative attending the first case conference. Your first case conference is the initial meeting then after being held at 3 months and then every 6 months thereafter which are formal with an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair with minutes being formally recorded like there are on a care protection plan.
With child in need they hold small informal core group meetings every 4-6 weeks and have to run a minimum of 3 months before they even consider your case can be closed with only a few of the above listed there is no independent reviewing officer or anyone there taking the minutes of the meetings. They should if there are no further concerns and with all professionals agreeing close your case at the 3 month core group meeting you will then receive a letter through the post stating officially that your case is closed.
REMEMBER you don't have to do everything they ask of you work with them but you dont have to comply with everything you have the right to say no In fact they should only be there to offer you there support when you ask for it or if they feel they can offer you support. It is always easier to go along with the social worker at this stage and to co-operate try to work with them because at this stage you are so close to the finishing line why fluff that up and risk being put back up to care protection plan and having to go through all that hell all over again for nothing. It's all about finding an equal balance.