Records and
 Recording skills
 Pitfalls in recording
 Recording in
 residential care
 Video Exercises
 Training materials
 About Write Enough
 Order CD copies

Integrated Children's System

Child's Plan

For children and young people identified as having more complex needs, a core assessment should be undertaken. A Child’s Plan is completed following a core assessment. The format for a Child’s Plan is more detailed and will revise and replace an Initial Plan for a child or young person.

A Child's Plan is the Child Protection Plan for those children whose names have been placed on the child protection register. A Child’s Plan will still be required for those children who have had their names removed from the register, or who have ceased to be looked after, but remain children in need and who are in receipt of social services.

The Child’s Plan has been designed for use with all children in need who are not looked after or leaving care and may also be used with children and young people receiving short break care in conjunction with Part One of the Care Plan.

View Integrated Children's System Child's Plan (PDF format)

Completing a Child’s Plan

A Child’s Plan is informed by a core assessment and should identify how the following will be addressed:

  • the identified developmental needs of the child or young person;
  • attributes which impact on parents’ and carers’ capacities to respond to the needs of the child or young person, drawing on their strengths and areas of competence whilst recognising difficulties;
  • wider family and environmental factors which may have an impact on the child or young person and family, drawing on strengths in the wider family and community as well as identifying difficulties.

The plan should be specific about the actions to be taken, identify who is responsible for each action, and any services or resources that will be required to ensure that the planned outcomes can be achieved within the agreed time-scales.

Key Features

  • Type of plan

    This identifies the nature of Child’s Plan that has been developed, only one box should be ticked.

  Type of Plan (please tick as appropriate):
Where a Child in Need Plan includes short break-care care. Part One of the Care Plan and a Placement Agreement should be completed.

Child in Need plan


Child in Need including short-break care


Child Protection Plan
  • Overall aim and timescale for the plan

    This sets out the overall objective that the individual actions detailed in the plan are intended to contribute to.
Example 7: Karen Hawthorne, aged 3 years, was placed on the child protection register under the category of neglect. Karen’s weight had fallen below the third centile, with no medical cause, and there were concerns that the home environment posed a risk to her health and safety. Following the child protection conference, based on the outline child protection plan and core assessment the Core Group developed a Child’s Plan for Karen.

The overall aim of the Child’s Plan for Karen was:


For Karen to attain and maintain satisfactory developmental progress within a safe family and home environment by the date of the second review conference.

  • Actions and services

    These are recorded in a tabular format that is used throughout the Integrated Children’s System. There is an individual table for each of the seven dimensions of children and young person’s needs and one for Parenting Capacity and one for Family and Environmental Factors.

    The plans should include actions to be provided by family members and may include actions to be undertaken by the child or young person.

    Any action and service provided by another agency or organisation should be discussed and agreed with the agency or organisation concerned before it is included in the Child’s Plan. In some cases, another agency may have a plan in place for a child or young person, for example, a Personal Education Plan. When developing the Child’s Plan it is important to be aware of the existence of other plans and to consider how they fit together and can be reviewed effectively. In some cases, with the agreement of the other agencies and the family, it may be possible to use the Child’s Plan to bring together all plans into one multi-agency plan.

  • Views of all parties

    All parties including the child or young person, if appropriate, should sign the completed plan and provided with a copy. Research with families indicates that they prefer to have plans explained to them rather than receive a copy through the post.

  • Date for plan to be reviewed

    It is important that the Child’s Plan is identified at regular intervals to monitor the impact of actions and services and to evaluate progress towards the overall aim of the plan. The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (Department of Health, 1999) sets a maximum timescale of six months to review plans for children in need.

  • Date Plan discussed in supervision

    In addition to the formal process of review a Child’s Plan should be regularly reviewed through supervision to ensure that it remains appropriate to a child/young persons needs.

  • Child young person’s comments

  • Parent(s)/main carer(s) comments

    The proposed plan should be discussed with the child or young person and their parent(s)/main carer(s), who should be encouraged to give their views on its contents and whether they think that it will achieve the overall aim of the plan.

Links to other records in the Integrated Children’s System

  • Completing a Child’s Plan for children and young people receiving short break care

    All children and young people receiving short break care should have a Child’s Plan.

    Children and young people who are provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by agreement with the parents or with the young person if s/he is aged 16 or over are defined as looked after under the Children Act 1989. This means that they must have a written Care Plan, Placement Information Record and Agreements and that the care they receive must be regularly reviewed in accordance with the Children Act 1989 Regulations and Guidance.

    Within the Integrated Children’s System the Care Plan is in two parts. Part One sets out the overall aim of the Care Plan and can only be changed through a statutory review. Part Two identifies the actions and services that will be provided to meet the child or young person’s needs and to achieve the overall aim of the Care Plan.

    Where the level of short break care provided means that a child or young person is looked after then part one of the Care Plan should be completed. The Child’s Plan will form part two of the Care Plan. It will be important, therefore, that the objective(s) of the short break care is clearly identified in the appropriate domain or dimension of the Child’s Plan.

Example 7: Ibriham Hussain, aged 14, is the only child of Mr Ali and Mrs Fatia Hussain. Ibriham suffers from muscular dystrophy and has limited mobility. He receives a number of services from Social Services including transport and funding for out of school activities at Link, a specialist centre for disabled children. In addition to activities Link provides short break care. The core assessment for Ibriham identified that due to his age and size parents, were finding it more difficult to manage Ibrihim, at that a short break once a month at Link would be beneficial for Ibrihim and his parents. The core assessment also identified gaps in the area of Ibrihims self care skills, he could not manage money, travel independently, or cook a simple meal. Ibrihim and his parents were in agreement to the use of short breaks and that these should include a focus on developing Ibrihim’s self-care skills.

The provision of short break care to Ibriham was recorded under two of the developmental dimension’s within his child’s plan, Family and Social Relationships and Self- care Skills.

Self-Care Skills

Identified needs and strengths in each domain
How will these needs be responded to: actions or services to be provided
Frequency and length of service: eg hours per week
Agency responsible
Date Service will commence/
Planned outcomes: progress to be achieved by next review or other specified date
Ibriham need to develop his self-care skills to become more independent

Attendance at Link to be increased to include overnight short break once a month.

Self care programme will be developed for Ibriham

Once a Month

Mary Grant
(Social worker)


Ibriham and James Page (Key worker)


Ibriham will be able to:

Budget, plan, purchase and cook a simple meal.

The statutory review for a child or young person receiving short break care should consider, the Care Plan (Part One) and the Child’s Plan.

In situations that require only Part One of the Care Plan to be completed, the final section of Part Two should also be completed as this records the views of all parties regarding the Care Plan and asks for their signatures. The statutory review for a child or young person receiving short break care should consider, the Care Plan and the Child’s Plan.

  • Completing a Child’s Plan in Child Protection Cases.

    The structure of the Child’s Plan allows it to be used when a child or young person’s name has been placed on a child protection register.

    The child protection conference should produce an outline child protection plan for the child or young person [See paragraph 5.69 Working Together to Safeguard Children]. Within 10 working days of the conference the core group appointed at the conference should meet to develop the plan for the child and young person. This will form the Child’s Plan for the child or young person. The Child’s Plan should be updated in the light of the findings of the core assessment, if this has not been completed by the time of the first core group meeting.

    The core group should meet regularly to monitor actions and outcomes against the Child’s Plan, and to make any changes as circumstances change. The Child’s Plan will be the child protection plan for a child and young person and should be regularly reviewed in line with the timescales set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children [paragraph 5.90]. Reports on progress should be clearly related to the planned outcomes of the Child’s Plan.

By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
Copyright information | Disclaimer