Children in Need Service

Who does the Child in Need Service work with?

We work with parents and carers who have agreed with their child’s Social Worker that the Child in Need Service might be able to help. If this is something which you are thinking about we hope that this information answers some of your questions about how we can support you.

How can we help?

We will support you and your child and build on what is already working well. We will listen and help in areas that you feel you need support in. Raising children can be really hard and we offer support in anyway that we can, and this means that we will go that extra mile to help you get life back on track. This might be when you want support to help improve your child’s behaviour or to put in place better routines so that your child is ready for school. Sometimes things happen in people’s lives which means that they feel low. We have supported many parents and carers to help them feel better about themselves, and this often means that they feel more able when raising their children. If you feel that there are things affecting how you look after your children, and you want help to change that, it is important that you know that you will not be judged. We will try and support you in these areas too or find the best people who can.

How can I get this support?

We know that some people are worried about a new person getting to know them or what this will mean for their family. We will work hard to gain your trust and will always treat you with respect. Your child’s Social Worker will let us know if you would like to work with us or if you would like to meet with us before you make that decision. Parents and carers working with us have a key worker called a Child in Need Practitioner who dedicates their time to support families.

What will happen next?

We will make contact and arrange to meet you and your child. This is usually at your home where we can talk about how we can help and what other people might be able to offer.

We find that the best way to agree what everyone can do to help is to meet together. You might feel a bit worried about this and we will do everything that we can to make this feel positive, friendly and relaxed. The meeting  will take place somewhere you feel comfortable in and this can be in your home or at a local children’s centre. The Child in Need Practitioner will agree who you would like to be there.

It is really important that you and your children, if they want to, come along to these meetings. They are called Child in Need Meetings.

There will be someone who will come along to the meeting, called a Child in Need Planning and Reviewing Officer, to make sure that everyone can share what they feel and so that everyone can agree what they will do to help. They will meet with you before the meeting to introduce themselves. Once everyone has agreed what they can do to support it will be written down in a Child in Need Plan and everyone will receive a copy. These meetings will take place again to see how well the support offered is helping.

What do we want to achieve?

The Child in Need Service understands that most families prefer to get on with their lives without the involvement of Children’s Social Care, our aim is to help you make changes to your life and the lives of your children so that this happens.

What are our responsibilities?

Like any service that works with children we have a responsibility to safeguard them. This means that if we have any worries that a child may be at risk of harm we would need to discuss this with a Social Worker in the Referral and Assessment Team. We will always try and discuss this with parents or carers first.

Useful Information

There are 3 Child In Need Service teams across the city. These are:

  • North Team 01904 555608
  • West Team 01904 555533
  • South East Team 01904 554501
  • Emergency Duty Team 08450349417

Making a comment, complaint or compliment

If you wish to make a comment, complaint or a compliment, please contact City of York Council by phone on 01904 554145, by email: or write to: Customer Complaints and Feedback Team, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Useful documents


York Family Information Service

01904 554444