DECIDING WHEN TO REFER
CHILD IN NEED WHO MAYBE IS ALSO AT RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARM
CHILD IN NEED
CHILD WITH ADDITIONAL NEEDS

A REFERRAL TO CHILDREN'S SOCIAL CARE SHOULD ALWAYS BE MADE IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Any allegation of sexual abuse;
  • Physical injury caused by assault or neglect which may or may not require medical attention;
  • Incidents of physical abuse that alone are unlikely to constitute significant harm but taken into consideration with other factors may do so;
  • Children who suffer from persistent neglect;
  • Children who live in an environment which is likely to have an adverse impact on their emotional development;
  • Where parents' own emotional impoverishment affects their ability to meet their child's emotional and/or physical needs regardless of material / financial circumstances and assistance;
  • Where parents' circumstances are affecting their capacity to meet the child's needs because of domestic violence, drug and/or alcohol misuse, mental health problems, previous convictions for offences against children;
  • A child living in a household with, or have having significant contact with, a person at risk of sexual offending;
  • A child under 13 who is sexually active;
  • An abandoned child;
  • Bruising to an immobile baby;
  • Pregnancy where children have been removed;
  • Suspicion of fabricated illness.

A REFERRAL TO CHILDREN'S SOCIAL CARE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES

  • A plan to meet the child's needs following a common assessment has not had the desired outcome;
  • A child may become at risk of harm without the provision of services.

The following is not an exhaustive list, but highlights common situations where a referral should be considered:

  • Child not achieving milestones with no apparent physical cause;
  • Child permanently excluded from school or temporarily excluded on a regular basis;
  • Child who persistently runs away from home or school;
  • Child who self harms;
  • Child involved in offending behaviour;
  • Child who is known to be involved in underage sexual activity and/or exploitation;
  • Child appears over protected and unable to develop their own identity;
  • Disabled child with complex needs that cannot be realistically met by the parent or carer;
  • Child whose communication needs are not being met;
  • Learning disabled parents or parents with learning difficulties whose impairment impacts on their parenting skills;
  • Parenting skills are inadequate to meet the child's needs;
  • Episode(s) of domestic violence;
  • Episode(s) of mental illness which might affect the child;
  • Substance misuse which is affecting parenting capacity;
  • Families who are socially isolated;
  • Families where lack of access to appropriate housing or income is adversely affecting the child.

A child with needs which are currently unmet and which need to be met if the child is to achieve his/her full potential.

The Common Assessment Framework checklist should be completed in order to determine whether an assessment is required.

A REFERRAL TO CHILDREN'S SOCIAL CARE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED IF:

  • The common assessment framework has resulted in a plan that is enabling the child to achieve their full potential in relation to the five outcomes;
  • The input of Children's Social Care is not essential to either service provision or contributing to an assessment of the wellbeing of the child.

A REFERRAL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IF:

  • A plan has been implemented following completion of a common assessment framework and it is not meeting the needs of the child;
  • Further information comes to light that indicates that either the child is at risk of significant harm or the involvement of Children's Social Care is essential to the delivery of services.