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Level 3 – Children in Need who Require Statutory or Specialist Services

These are children in need (s17 Children Act 1989) who have complex / multiple needs. To achieve all their outcomes, they will require longer term intervention from statutory and specialist services. The assessment will be carried out by a social worker from the Local Authority Children's Services Department. 
Example Indicators Action and the Assessment Process Services which might be involved with children and families at this level of need
Developmental Needs

Learning / Education
Short term exclusions or at risk of permanent exclusion, persistent absence.

Statement of special educational needs.

Disability requiring special support to be maintained in mainstream setting.

Physical and emotional development raising significant concerns among professionals.

Chronic /recurring health problems; parents fail to seek medical treatment.

Persistent missed appointments – routine and non routine.

Social, Emotional, Behavioural and Identity
Under 18 and pregnant.

Evidence of regular, frequent drug use.

Mental health issues requiring specialist intervention in the community.

Self Care and Independence
Lack of age appropriate behaviour and independent living skills, likely to impair development.

Family and Environmental Factors

Family and Social Relationships and Family Well-Being
History of domestic violence and abuse; either between parents / carers or child / young person's own relationship.

Risk of relationship breakdown between parents/ carers and the child.

Acrimonious contact arrangements following parental separation.

Children who are privately fostered, children with parents in prison, children who have had periods as a Looked After Child.

Child with attachment issues.

Children with caring responsibilities which are inappropriate and interfere directly with their education / leisure activities.

Housing, Employment and Finance
Severe overcrowding, temporary accommodation, homelessness.

Social and Community Resources
Family require support as a result of social exclusion.

Parents and Carers

Basic Care, Safety and Protection
Physical care or supervision of the child is inadequate.

Parents have a physical and/or learning disability which impacts on their capacity to meet the needs of their child.

Parents do not engage with professionals.

Allegations of periodic neglect including insufficient supervision, poor hygiene, clothing or nutrition.

Young carers undertaking intimate personal care.

Emotional Warmth and Stability
Inconsistent parenting impairing emotional or behavioural development.

Parents have substance misuse problems (drugs or alcohol) which impacts on their capacity to meet the needs of their child.

Parents have mental health problems which impact on their capacity to meet the needs of their child.

Guidance, Boundaries and Stimulation
Parents provide inconsistent boundaries or responses.

Carer uses physical chastisement or other harsh methods of discipline.

Carer indifferent to smoking, underage drinking, drug misuse and early sexual relationships.

This is the threshold for child in need assessment under s.17 Children Act 1989.

The assessment will be carried out by a social worker from the Local Authority Children's Services Department.

If information gathered during the assessment process results in a social worker suspecting that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, then they will convene a multi agency strategy discussion, and may seek legal advice. The intervention will become a Level 4 Child Protection enquiry.

Local Authority Children's Social Care;

Other statutory services. E.g. SEN services and specialist health or disability services;


Youth Justice Service;

Targeted drug and alcohol services;

Family support services;

Voluntary and community services;

Universal services as at Level 1.