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4.2 Child with Complex Needs (CwCN) Plans and Reviews


  1. Scope of the Chapter
  2. CwCN Planning Meetings
  3. CwCN Plans
  4. Network Meetings
  5. Reviews of CwCN Plans

1. Scope of the Chapter

1.1 This chapter does not apply to children who are the subject of a Child Protection Risk Action Plan. It applies to children who have been through NARRATES CwCN and it has been determined that they are a child with complex needs.

2. CwCN Planning Meetings

2.1 An initial CwCN Planning Meeting will follow completion of NARRATES CwCN, where the assessment has concluded that a package of family support is required to meet the child's needs under Section 23(4) of the Children and Young Persons Act 2001. It must be held within 15 days from the completion of NARRATES.
2.2 The Initial Planning Meeting provides an opportunity for a child and his or her parents/carers, together with key agencies, to identify and agree the package of services required and to develop the CwCN Plan.
2.3 All CwCN Planning Meetings must be attended by the child (depending on age and understanding), parents/carers and those agencies whose potential/actual contribution is recommended as an outcome of an assessment.
2.4 The relevant social worker must discuss potential attendees for the Planning Meeting with the child and the parents/carers prior to arrangements being made for the meeting.
2.5 It will be important that an appropriate venue suitable for the child and his or her family are used for the meeting. Consideration must be given to transport, timing and any child care issues. Where a child is attending a meeting and is of school age the meeting must be held outside of school time, wherever possible.
2.6 The first Planning Meeting resulting from the completion of a NARRATES will usually be chaired by the social worker.
2.7 If the CwCN Plan is recommended as an outcome of an Initial Child Protection Conference or a Child Protection Review Conference then the first planning meeting will usually be chaired by the social worker's line manager or a senior practitioner.
2.8 Children and Families will be responsible for convening the meeting and drawing up the CwCN Plan.

3. CwCN Plans

3.1 A CwCN Plan will be developed in an Initial CwCN Planning Meeting (see Section 1, Scope of the Chapter above).
3.2 Most CwCN Plans will envisage that Children and Families intervention will end within twelve months. However, some children and families may require longer term support, for example children with disabilities.
3.3 The CwCN Plan must identify the Lead Professional, any resources or services that will be needed to achieve the planned outcomes within the agreed timescales and who is responsible for which action and the time-scale involved.

In particular, the CwCN Plan must:

  • Provide a summary of the outcome of the assessment with the needs of the child and family clearly identified;
  • Identify what needs to happen to support the child or family in response to the summary of needs;
  • Who needs to do it;
  • When it will be done;
  • The outcomes to be achieved and the difference that the interventions will make to the child/family must be clearly stated;
  • The roles and responsibilities of professionals and family members, needs to be clearly stated;
  • The network group to be established;
  • The date of the review challenge meeting must be identified.
3.5 The allocated social worker is responsible for the distribution of the CwCN Plan. A copy of the CwCN Plan must be provided to the child (appropriate to age and understanding), the parents and the agencies or other professionals involved in the provision of services under the Plan.
3.6 The Lead Professional will be responsible for implementing the plan including making referrals to appropriate agencies for services as described in the plan.
3.7 Where it becomes necessary to make minor adjustments to the plan and services provided, any changes to the plan must be made in consultation with the parents and the child (where appropriate) and key professionals from other agencies.

4. Network Meetings

Functions and Responsibilities of Network Meetings

Network Meetings provide an important forum for:

  • Checking on and monitoring progress being made on actions which have been identified in the Complex Needs Plan;
  • Ensuring that all aspects of the Plan are carried through;
  • Ensuring that all professionals continue to be sure of their role and responsibilities vis-à-vis the Plan;
  • Providing evidence that will be needed for the social worker’s report to the Review Challenge Meeting.

Timing of Network Meetings

Network meetings will be held in accordance with the agreements made at the Initial Complex Planning meeting.

Recording of Network Meetings

The progress/narrative box (which is included on the original plan for the meeting) will be completed by a nominated member of the Group and loaded on Protocol along with the date, time, venue and list of participants.

Social Work report to the Complex Needs Review Challenge Meeting

In order to provide a report to the Review Meeting, the Social Worker will need to provide information about the visits that have been made to the child and family and any Network or other meetings which have been held (see form below).

They also need to ensure that they cover all aspects in their report which will be covered in the review challenge meeting (see above). Such information will be gleaned from visits to, and discussions with, the family, comments from other professionals and from Network meetings. In particular, they will need to focus on the differences made/outcomes achieved thus far from the interventions provided. All of this will enable those at the Review Meeting to make decisions based on evidential information.

5. Reviews of CwCN Plans

5.1 Reviews will be conducted at intervals agreed with the Lead Professional’s line manager, which will be at least every three months, unless there are exceptional circumstances when timescales can be longer, for example in the case of children with disabilities.
5.2 If there are significant changes in the family circumstances, an early review must take place.
5.3 Any child protection or safeguarding issues which arise during the course of a CwCN Plan must be responded to in line with the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board Procedures, Referrals Procedure.
5.4 The Review will usually be carried out by the Lead Professional, who must invite or seek the views of the child, parents and any service providers. The responsible team will administer all CwCN Reviews.
5.5 The Review will generally take place within a meeting, unless the manager agrees otherwise. The line manager or senior practitioner will usually chair the meeting. If the case is not allocated, the manager of the responsible team must undertake the review or arrange for it to be undertaken on his/her behalf.

The purpose of the Review Challenge is as follows:

  • To determine whether the actions agreed, as part of the Plan, have been implemented and whether a positive difference has been made to the child or family. Any differences need to be clearly documented. If positive changes have not been made, the review meeting needs to decide what else needs to done to make it positive;
  • To consider whether the needs of the child have changed and which category they now fit into: universal, additional needs, complex needs (i.e. no change) of safety and protection needs;
  • To reach consensus on the needs of the child;
  • To reach agreement on the what needs to happen to support and meet the child’s needs;
  • To determine whether any concerns should be escalated;
  • To decide whether the original Plan should be amended; step-up to safety/protection needs; step-down to additional needs;
  • To decide and agree whether closure can be considered;
  • To document what has been learnt about what has worked and hasn’t worked from the child’s perspective.
5.7 Where it is proposed that a complex package of support being provided under a CwCN Plan must continue beyond 12 months, there must be a specific review chaired by the manager of the responsible team. Exceptions to this will be those cases where the plan acknowledges the need for longer term support, for example in relation to children who meet the criteria for the Children with Disabilities Team.
5.8 All decisions made must be recorded on the child’s electronic record, together with reasons, and dated.
5.9 A copy of the record must be sent to the child (appropriate to age and understanding), parent and all other participants in the Review process.

The outcome of a Review will be:

  • That the child is no longer a CwCN requiring Children and Families intervention, which may result in a recommendation to the team manager that the case be closed or that ongoing support is provided in the Early Help and Support arena through the CwAN Coordinators;
  • That the child continues to be a Child in Need requiring the same level of services, resulting in the continuing provision of services and minor amendment, as necessary, of the CwCN Plan;
  • That the child appears to be at risk of Significant Harm, resulting in the need for a Strategy Discussion/Meeting and possible NARRATES S46. For the detailed procedures, see the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board Procedures.
5.11 Where the outcome of the Review is an amendment to the CwCN Plan, the Lead Professional must circulate a copy of the amended Plan to the child, parents, and other agencies/professionals involved in providing the services set out in the amended Plan, including any new services to be provided.