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Child In Need Plan

How do Social Services adjudicate whether your child is a Child in Need?

The legal definition of a “Child in Need” is given in Section 17 (10) of the Children Act 1989:

“As a child shall be taken to be in need if:

(a) he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him of services by a local authority;

(b) his health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him of such services; or

(c) he is disabled”


In the context of this Part of the Act:

  • by “health” is meant physical or mental health;
  • by “development” is meant physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development; and
  • by “disabled” is meant blind, deaf or dumb or suffering from mental disorder of any kind or being substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed.

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Contracted with the Legal Aid Agency.