When might a child be a child in need?
2 minute read
A disabled child will be classed as a child in need. Other children may be in need if they need help from children’s services to be healthy or to develop properly (see section 17(10) Children Act 1989).
Health and development are explained in section 17(11) of the Children Act 1989. Health doesn’t just mean a child’s physical health. It includes mental health. Development means a child developing the skills and abilities they should at their age. This includes their physical development and their intellectual, emotional, social and behavioural progress.
Here are some further examples of when a child may be a child in need of extra help or services:
- Children with significant emotional and behavioural difficulties.
- Children at risk of exclusion from school.
- Children and young people with significant caring responsibilities.
- Children without accommodation or living in an unsafe physical environment.
- Some children in detention.
- Vulnerable teenagers where relationships have broken down at home.
- Unaccompanied children from abroad.
- Children who persistently self-harm or run away.
- Children returning home from care to live with their families.
See our Children with disabilities and children with special educational needs page for further information about the help and support for disabled children.
For more information and advice about how children’s services should work with and support young carers, see our frequently asked questions about Young carers.