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Support for ‘children in need’ and their families

Local councils must support ‘children in need’ and their families.

Your child is a ‘child in need’ if they are under 18 and one (or more) of the following applies:

  • they’re disabled
  • their health and development will be affected if your local council doesn’t give them any help and support
  • their health and development has already been affected by their situation, and could get worse without help and support from your local council

Examples of things that could affect your child’s health and development include if they’re:

  • very unhappy at school or at home
  • being violent towards you or other people
  • self harming
  • abusing alcohol or drugs
  • unable to join in activities because of their disability
  • at risk of getting involved in crime
  • having to provide a lot of care for a relative
  • seeking asylum

If you think your child is a ‘child in need’, contact Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services department. You’ll need to explain why your child needs support and ask for a child in need assessment.  The following types of support may be available:

  • financial support – this could be a loan, a cash payment or vouchers for things like food, clothing or furniture
  • advice and counselling for you and your family
  • day care facilities for children under 5 who aren’t at school yet
  • after school and holiday care for school-age children
  • family centres – these are places where you can get support and advice, while your children have a safe space to play
  • transport so you can use services provided by your local council
  • sport, dance, music or art activities
  • visits to museums and attractions
  • short breaks at residential centres
  • respite care – this is where your child stays with a carer for a short time so you can have a break
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