As you will be aware, the health and social care sector (like others) is working hard to maintain essential services in what are extremely challenging times. Whilst the manner in which many of us work is being adapted in line with current Government and Public Health England guidance, it is recognised that much of the work we undertake can’t simply just stop. So, there is a balance to be had between ensuring, as far as possible, the wellbeing of everyone (especially vulnerable people) and maintaining vital services. I am committed to maintaining as many of the services I provide throughout this period of uncertainty whilst acting responsibly to help ensure the safety of those I work with, vulnerable people and their carers.

To this end, until further notice, the following will apply:

Where possible, I will assess and consult people using non face-to-face methods such as Skype and telephone calls. Sometimes this is not possible and, in those situations, where safe to do so, I will continue with a face-to-face approach. If this is required, current Government guidelines will be followed. Whichever method will be adopted will depend entirely upon the nature and urgency of the work and will be discussed with the instructing party and care providers where applicable.

I wish you a safe and healthy time as we work together over the coming months,

Best Wishes, Gary.

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Tel: 0203 617 1255

Independent Social Work Services for Solicitors

A Strength-Based Approach to Social Work

As a professional, Independent Social Worker, I can be instructed to complete assessments and reports for a variety of reasons.  I use a strength-based, person-centred approach to my practice which means I approach any assessments and reports from a place of what the person can do and look at the relationships and systems they already have in place rather than focusing entirely on what someone can’t do.  Strength-based approaches to Social Work are about the individual, their life and circumstances.  I use a multi-disciplinary approach and use the person and their networks of support to direct my work.

Care Assessments

I use the Care Act 2014 as a framework for my care assessment.  The Care Act provides a framework under which local authorities assess care needs.  They use this framework to assess a person’s care and support needs and following this, identify which services a person is eligible to receive.  The assessment must be person-centred throughout, involving the person and supporting them to have choice and control.  My care needs assessments are person-centred and involve the person and their support networks to complete a thorough assessment.  All of my assessments are completed by me, a Registered Social Worker with over 10 years’ experience working within local authority adult social care teams.  The purpose of a Care Act assessment is to identify the needs of a person and how these impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes that the person wishes to achieve in their day-to-day life.

Being independent of any local authorities, I can be instructed to complete Care Act or care needs assessments and do so for a variety of reasons. Including; second opinion assessments if there is disagreement with one completed by a local authority, or refusal by a local authority to complete an assessment because the person doesn’t appear to have a need for care and support.  I can be instructed by individuals, their representatives or solicitors.  I can also be instructed by local authorities who would like a care need assessment completed by an independent, registered Social Worker.

Immigration and Bespoke Reports

As an Independent Social Worker, I can be instructed by solicitors to complete assessments and reports and do so for many different reasons;  I have been instructed to complete assessments and court reports for both adults and children.  Sometimes, I am instructed to complete a second opinion assessment where a client is challenging an assessment completed by a local authority who (for anyone age 18 or over) should use the Care Act as a framework for assessment.  Other times, I am instructed by solicitors to complete a bespoke, independent report about a client’s circumstances and offer my professional opinion about a certain course of action.  Increasingly, I am instructed by specialist human rights lawyers in immigration cases where a client is appealing a notice of deportation.  I can write independent reports that examine the effects of deportation upon the client and their family including welfare reports for children.

Mental Capacity and Best Interests Assessments

I am an experienced mental capacity assessor and I’m often instructed to complete an assessment of a client’s mental capacity for a variety of financial and Health & Welfare decisions.  For more details and a list of some of the decisions I can assess, please visit my dedicated mental capacity assessment pages.

Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Reports

Young adults with Special Educational Needs don’t always thrive and achieve their full potential in mainstream colleges once they have completed their secondary aged education.  However, due to ever tightening local authority budgets, a mainstream college is all that is offered by Local Authorities.  Whilst mainstream colleges sometimes meet the needs of learners with Special Educational Needs, they don’t for everyone and some people require specialist colleges at a significant cost to the local authority.

The SEND Tribunal provides a vehicle through which a person or their representative can appeal against the educational provision named in their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.  A 2-year national trial began on 3 April 2018 to extend the power of the SEND tribunal. As part of a special educational appeal, the SEND tribunal can make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of a person’s EHC plan.

I can be instructed to complete a mental capacity assessment (which is fundamental to the tribunal process and applies to anyone over the age of 16 who might lack capacity to make decisions about the contents of their EHC plan) and Care Act Assessment.  A Care Act assessment will identify exactly what a person’s care needs are and the type of care required to meet them.  My independent social work reports often assist judges and panel members when making decisions about a person’s EHC plan.