Some children in need may be entitled to services beyond the age of 18.

It is the responsibility of parents or those with ‘parental responsibility' to ensure that children are cared for and brought up to be healthy, happy and educated.

Some children or families may need additional support to achieve this.

Merton Safeguarding Children Board and Merton Children’s Trust expect local agencies to support children through early intervention and the use of the Merton Well-Being Model

Section 17/10 of the Children Act 1989 says 'a child shall be taken to be in need if the child:

  • is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him of services by the Local Authority
  • is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him of such services
  • is disabled.

Government guidance: Working Together to safeguard children, 2015 says -

Where need is relatively low level individual services and universal services may be able to take swift action. For other emerging needs a range of early help services may be required, coordinated through an early help assessment.

Where there are more complex needs, help may be provided. Where there are child protection concerns (reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm) local authority social care services must make enquiries and decide if any action must be taken.

If you have reason to believe a child is ‘in need’ you should consider completing a Common and Shared Assessment (CASA).

If you believe that a child is at risk of significant harm from neglect or abuse you should make a child protection referral.

Contact us

Merton SCB Administrators
Children, Schools and Families Department
Civic Centre
London Road
Tel: 020 8545 4866