JSNA > Starting Well


The Children Act 1989 defines a Child in Need as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision of services by a local authority.

As at 31st March 2017, there were 4,097 children in need in County Durham.  355 (8.7%) of these had a disability recorded.  73.8% of the 355 had a learning disability. This is much higher than England (44.3%) and the North East (48.1%).

Local authorities also have a responsibility to respond to all children who are identified as being in need, or in need of protection. This means that children and young people who are suffering from harm, abuse and neglect are quickly identified and the information is shared appropriately to afford them protection and ensure access to appropriate services in line with their assessed need.

In County Durham, the primary reason for children becoming subject to a child protection plan is as a result of neglect and the likelihood of neglect (75.5% as at 31st March 2017).

The documents we publish on this page are either legally required to be made available for inspection, for information and analysis purposes or may have been supplied by the public and so in some cases may not be fully accessible. If, for any reason, you cannot access the documents and need an alternative format, please email ina@durham.gov.uk.

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