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3.6 Knowsley Complex Needs and Resource Panel


This chapter details the process for accessing multi agency funding for children who have complex needs and requirements. It is important that a holistic assessment of the child is undertaken and that accessing mainstream and universal services, etc. have been fully considered.


Children with Disabilities Referral Assessment and Planning Procedure


This chapter was updated in December 2016 to include an updated Funding Request Form (see, Appendix 1: Children's Complex Needs Panel Funding Request Form) and to acknowledge a change of timescales of circulating material from the Panel, (ten days). Amendments also include changes to the expected membership of the Panel.


  1. Purpose of the Panel
  2. Principle
  3. Process
  4. Membership and Governance

    Appendix 1: Children's Complex Needs Panel Funding Request Form

1. Purpose of the Panel

The Complex Needs and Resource Panel meets every month to consider requests for funding where either:

  • A comprehensive assessment of need by more than one agency identifies that a child or young person needs are so complex, that this need may only be met by additional funding from more than one agency for example, health, education, social care. This also includes requests where the complex needs’ funding is required during the transition from Children’s Services into Adult Services;
  • An assessment of need by Social Care identifies that a child or young person and their family need additional support that meets the criteria for the children with disabilities team and there is no other agency involvement;
  • Applications are to be submitted to Panel using a Panel referral form;
  • Care packages will be scheduled for review three months after the package of care has commenced, and then annually thereafter, or when the health professional or key worker identifies the need of an earlier review.

Access to respite care at Fullerton Grove (see Fullerton Eligibility Criteria Procedure) will be requested at Panel so that Panel members are aware of the totality of support the family receives. This will also enable packages of support to be coordinated with the respite arrangements for each individual family.

The Panel will oversee those packages of care and agree review timescales (as outlined above) to ensure the package remains appropriate.

The Panel will advocate for strategic development of joint working across partnerships for children with complex needs and will make recommendations for developments that support such initiatives.

2. Principle

Before a child or young person is presented to the Panel, there must be detailed consideration of why existing local resources at Universal, Targeted and Specialist level provision cannot meet the needs. Consideration must be given to the Short Breaks Local Offer meeting the identified need before a request is made to Panel for additional resources.

All packages of care will be focused on promoting independence and reducing dependence therefore there is an expectation that requests for Panel will be outcome focused and where possible time limited. Lead Practitioners will be expected to report back on outcomes achieved as part of agreed packages at Panel reviews.

Requests to Panel must be specifically outlined e.g. activities in the community must be identified and potential days and times outlined in the request and number of hours needed must be evidenced clearly.

3. Process

  1. A lead professional for the child must be agreed and any request for the Panel must have completed the Panel paperwork which includes an assessment of risk by the Lead Professional in partnership with all practitioners involved in the care of the young person;
  2. The format for application will be a proforma summarizing the specialist assessments that have been undertaken by professionals and should clearly demonstrate what the unmet needs are in relation to the young person and also how the proposed plan will address them;
  3. The application must be informed by a Single Assessment covering the whole needs of the young person and not just in one particular setting. This will be demonstrated by evidence of a whole week in the life of the young person and not, for example, school holidays, pre-school and during school hours. The application will not be considered in isolation or from one agencies perspective. There is an expectation that a multi-agency meeting will have taken place prior to the application being submitted to ensure that all unmet needs are identified and the proposed care plan addresses them. The assessment must include the intended outcomes of the proposed package of care;
  4. This assessment must be shared with the parent/carer and child/young person where appropriate and their comments must be included;
  5. Assessments are subject to review by the respective agencies as part of their governance arrangements;
  6. All applications must be reviewed by the Team Manager of the Children with Disabilities team and then submitted to the children social care business hub;
  7. The papers will then be circulated to all Panel members prior to the Panel for consideration. Specialist assessments are available for more detail;
  8. The Lead Professional will be invited to the meeting to present the case with any other key practitioners. The Panel will discuss the case and will make a decision and inform the Lead Professional in a timely manner;
  9. Documented decisions will be circulated within 10 working days of the Panel meeting. These will be circulated to the referrer and relevant commissioning leads and finance leads. Decisions from Panel are to be added to children’s case files within the relevant service area;
  10. All details of children’s packages will be kept on a database and cross referenced with other known resources accessed by families in order to produce a full picture of the resources families are receiving;
  11. The Lead Professional is responsible for feeding back the Panel outcome to the family and this will be followed up in writing within 10 days to the family;
  12. The criteria to return to Panel for review is when circumstances of the family change significantly to warrant a review or when the Panel request a review; or when scheduled for review as outlined above;
  13. All negotiations for packages of support are to be carried out through Procurement;
  14. Urgent cases can be dealt with outside of Panel by the designated representative but must be brought to the next Panel for ratification;
  15. Panel decisions are final. Any appeals are to be directed through the complaints procedure.

4. Membership and Governance


  • Chair – Head of Service, Social Care (Local Authority);
  • Senior Commissioning Manager – Children;
  • Children with Disabilities Social Care Team Manager;
  • Representative for Health Authority with responsibility for funding decisions;
  • Representative from Education Services with responsibility for funding decisions;
  • Procurement Officer;
  • Finance Officer;
  • Occupational Therapy Service;
  • Other professionals who manage access to resources as required:
    • Manager of Fullerton Grove;
    • Short Breaks Development Officer;
    • Positive Behaviour Support Service.
  • The Lead professional presenting the request and assessment (to present);
  • CWD Assistant Manager (Early Help).
The Panel is considered Quorate if at least 2 agencies with responsibility for funding decisions are present.

Appendix 1: Children's Complex Needs Panel Funding Request Form

Appendix 1: Children's Complex Needs Panel Funding Request Form