Independent Chair – Child In Need (IC-CIN)


This chapter aims to provide information and advice on when and how to request an Independent Chair for Child In Need (CIN) support from the Child Protection Team within the Statutory Review Service.


This chapter was updated in March 2023.

1. Introduction

The Independent Chair – Child In Need (IC-CIN) Process has been developed to increase the number of children/young people who are safely and effectively supported through their Child in Need plan. The Child Protection Team offer support to operational teams with complex CIN children/young people and their families, including a consultation with an Independent Chair, along with providing an Independent Chair at a CIN meeting, where appropriate.

2. Criteria

The criteria for requesting IC-CIN support is as follows:

  • Differing professional opinion on thresholds about whether a child/young person is at risk of significant harm;
  • Challenges for social workers to identify a successful way to engage families;
  • Complex children/young people and their families;
  • Increased concerns but threshold not met for Child Protection (CP) or Legal Planning Meetings;
  • Outcome of s.47 where decision is "no further action"/s.17 services;
  • Diversion from CP (not if threshold is met);
  • CIN children/young people and their families have been supported by a CIN plan for 9 months or longer;
  • Children who were previously supported by a Child Protection Plan, where the issues remain the same.

3. Requests

All requests should be sent to and should include:

  • The child/young person's name and LCS number;
  • A brief description of the current situation and the change(s) you hope involvement of the IC might motivate.

On receipt of the email, a response will be sent within 48 hours and a consultation arranged between the Chair, Social Worker and Manager for the CIN Surgery which takes place on Friday mornings via MS Teams. Discussions can be held regarding whether it would be beneficial to have an alternative Chair as part of the meeting and arrangements can be made to facilitate this.

For any children/young people where you consider threshold is met for suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, it is important that the Child Protection procedures are followed and a section 47 enquiry is initiated.