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Level 4 – Child Protection (Section 47 Children Act 1989); These are Children Suffering, or likely to Suffer Significant Harm


These are children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm (s.47 Children Act 1989) and will require intensive support and protection under s.47 Children Act 1989. This is the threshold for multi-agency child protection enquiries led by a Local Authority Children's Social Worker following a Strategy Discussion.
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
Chronic non attendance.

Permanently excluded, or no education.

Health
High level disability.

Serious physical and emotional health problems.

Suspicion of fabricated or induced illness.

Social, Emotional, Behavioural and Identity
Challenging behaviours resulting in serious risk to child and others.

Involved in gang activity.

Involved in, or at risk of, child sexual exploitation, including on line abuse.

Child at risk of trafficking.

Unaccompanied asylum seeing child.

Frequently goes missing from home.
Under 13 and pregnant.

Child at risk of FGM (female genital mutilation) or honour based violence.

Self Care and Independence
Severe lack of age appropriate behaviour and independent living skills likely to result in significant harm.

Family and Environmental Factors

Family and Social Relationships and Family Well-Being
Suspicion of physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse.

Suspicion of long term neglect for example; if a child is hungry and / or home accommodation is in a state of disrepair or the house is dirty and squalid, and / or the child experiences lots of house moves, and / or the child has ill-fitting, dirty clothes, and / or the child looks dirty and / or carer speaks about the child harshly / without warmth, and / or the carer does not provide stimulation for the child / there are few or no toys.

Previous child/ren removed from parent's care or subject of Child Protection plan/s.

Unborn babies where a parent has mental health issues, violence and anger issues, substance misuse or young person/Care leaver lacking positive parenting experience.

High levels of domestic abuse and violence, or serious incident / several incidents of domestic violence when child is present in the house.

Parents lack the capacity to care for the child.

Children experiencing or likely to experience significant harm, who need to be looked after outside their own family.

Social and Community Resources
Child or family need immediate protection and support due to harassment and discrimination.

Parents and Carers

Basic Care, Safety and Protection
Parent lacks the capacity to meet the child's emotional, educational, social and health needs without support.

Any allegation of abuse or neglect or suspicions injury in a pre or non mobile child.

Any child 0-7 is left alone or in the company of an unsuitable person.

Guidance, Boundaries and Stimulation
Parent does not offer good role model; e.g. they are involved in anti social behaviour and are unable to restrict access to the home or child by dangerous adults known or suspected to pose a risk to children.

Children's social care will make enquiries under s.47 Children Act 1989 to determine whether or not the child (ren) is/are suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm.

If these enquiries confirm that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, a child protection conference will be convened by a social worker.

Representative of all agencies working with the family will be invited to the child protection conference, along with parents/ carers and the child/ young person (or their advocate).

The child protection conference will decide whether to make the child the subject of a child protection plan.

A child protection plan sets out clearly the action that must be taken to ensure that the child is safe from harm. Failure to progress the actions in the child protection plan may result in legal proceedings being commenced.

Children's social care;

Specialist health or disability services;

Youth Justice Service;

CAMHS;

Family support services;

Voluntary and community services;

Drug and alcohol services;

Sexual exploitation service/ team;

Universal services as at Level 1.