Support available for children in need

What is a child in need?

If you are under the age of 18 and your parents or carers need help caring for you, Children’s Services can provide support. Children’s Services may provide support where, for example, you have a disability or you need extra help for your development or health needs. The law is in section 17 Children Act 1989.

How can I get support?

To get support, either you or your parents can contact Children’s Services in your area and ask for a ‘child in needassessment. A Social Worker will then decide whether to do one.

You are the main focus of this assessment and a Social Worker may want to speak with you and listen to your views. It is important that you explain the problems you are having and the effect they are having on you. You can also explain how the support would help you in your day to day living.

Once the assessment is finished, you may be placed on what is called a ‘child in need’ plan.

The plan should include:

  • the type of support you will be given
  • how long the support will be available for
  • how the support should help you
  • when the plan will be looked at again in future.

What kind of support can I get?

The type of support that is provided will depend on the services offered by the Children’s Services in your area.

 These are examples of services which Children’s Services may do to help you and your family:

  • advice, guidance and counselling
  • help with travel
  • money
  • education, such as home tuition
  • changes to your home, such as fitting a handrail.


Find out how you can access support with this issue by contacting the Coram Voice free Advocacy Helpline for Children and Young People on 0808 800 5792 or visit