Children in need—provision of services
Produced in partnership with Andrew Norton QC and Luke Eaton of 1 Garden Court
Children in need—provision of services

The following Local Government practice note Produced in partnership with Andrew Norton QC and Luke Eaton of 1 Garden Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Children in need—provision of services
  • General duties of the local authority
  • Conducting the assessment
  • Inferences in assessments
  • Provision of services once assessment is complete
  • Challenges of local authority decisions on assessment

Please note the information in this Practice Note relates to the current law in England. The law in Wales in this area is covered by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the related statutory instruments.

General duties of the local authority

From 30 June 2019, the safeguarding provisions in Part 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 will come into full force. Under the new provisions, safeguarding partners for a local authority area (named as the local authority, clinical commissioning group and police) are required to make arrangements for themselves and relevant agencies to work together in exercising their functions for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area. Safeguarding partners have up to 12 months, from 29 June 2018, to agree their local arrangements and which relevant agencies they consider appropriate should work with them to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area. All partners and agencies (education, housing, health, police for example) should be aware of, and comply with, the published arrangements set out by the local safeguarding partners and have processes for sharing information.

The local authority and its social workers have specific roles and responsibilities to lead the statutory assessment of children in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) and to lead child protection enquiries

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