This section is about your child or young person’s Social Care needs. During the Needs Assessment for the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, advice and information about social care needs must be sought. Saying ‘nil’, ‘not know to this service’ etc. is unlikely to satisfy the requirement to seek advice and information. It could be that your child is assessed as not having social care needs at this time. If that is the case, this section could say that.
Section D must specify any social care needs identified through the EHC needs assessment which relate your child or young person’s Special Educational Needs (SEN). This would include needs which will require provision to be made for them under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (CSDPA) 1970 (1) (the naming of the Act reflects the language used in the 1960s-70s).
The local authority (LA) might specify social care needs not related to SEN, such as a Child Protection or Child in Need (CiN) plan but can only do that if you agree.
The LA should have an identified person(s) who looks at the Needs Assessment and decides if a social care assessment might be needed. If agreed, you should then be contacted by someone at the social care team. You can be referred to Short Breaks (which is part of s2 of the CSDPA) without having a s17 (CiN) assessment, but it is the s17 which is the ‘gateway’ as it identifies children who are ‘in need’. You can also self-refer for a s17 assessment at any time.
All disabled children (a child who has a developmental, mental or physical impairment (2) are considered as being a CiN under the Children Act 1989. As such, they are entitled to an assessment. This is a Social Worker (SW) assessment. The assessment must identify your child’s needs, provision to meet those needs, and the outcomes expected from that provision.
Section 9 of the Care Act 2014 is for young people 18 or above. Like with a s17, the eligibility for assessment is low. A care and support plan must be drawn up describing identified needs.
Not all families want a SW assessment, not all children have needs which require social care and not all children or young people are eligible for provision just because an assessment has been carried out..
Whether a child or young person, their identified needs which are eligible for services should be clearly stated in section D of the EHCP.
1 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015, s9.69
2 The Children Act 1989, s19(11)