At Simply Social Work / Gary Crisp Consultants, we pride ourselves on the quality of our social care needs assessments and complete them for adults and children. It is one of our areas of expertise and one of our directors, Gary Crisp has achieved the Cardiff University Bond Solon Expert Witness (family) Certificate. Gary and our other director, Neil Courtney, are very experienced Social Workers and have both worked for local authorities completing care assessments as well as being Independent Social Workers.
Social care needs assessments are completed for many different reasons but are usually completed for children with Special Education Needs or vulnerable adult. Vulnerable adults might include those living with dementia, learning disabilities, a decline in their mental health, sensory loss or acquired brain injuries. Often, a local authority will complete a care needs assessment, but sometimes a second opinion is required. This is often the case in tribunal or court hearings where the local authority assessment is being questioned.
For children and young people, social care needs assessments are completed when determining whether they have any care needs because of their special educational needs. This will be used to determine what additional support a child or young person might require when compared to a child or young person of a similar age without special educational needs.
We can be instructed by local authorities to complete care needs assessments for children and young people. We can also be instructed by families or their solicitors if they are appealing a care needs assessment completed by a local authority. This is most common during an appeal to the first-tier tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) who are responsible for handling appeals against local authority decisions regarding special educational needs, including a refusal to:
For adults, care needs assessments are completed to determine what support the person might need to live more independently. A care needs assessment is used to complete a support plan which determines who will assist the person and how they will do it. Adult care needs assessments are usually completed by local authorities and we never shy away from letting people know that they can ask their local authority for a free social care needs assessment. Depending upon their financial circumstances, they may be asked by the local authority to contribute (or even pay the full amount) towards the care they need. Regardless of a person’s financial circumstances, their assessment should be free but might take several months to complete.
Simply Social Work can be instructed to complete care needs assessments by families, solicitors and case managers. Gary has a history of supporting case management companies with care needs assessments for adults and children who live with acquired brain injuries. Where a care manager is supporting a person, they will not always want to wait for a local authority assessment and instruct us instead. Typically, we will complete care needs assessments within four weeks but can complete them sooner if you are working towards a tight deadline.
The purpose of a care needs assessment (whether for children or adults) is to determine what additional care a person requires. Sometimes, family or friends provide the additional care. However, this is not always possible and family members may not always be willing to support the person. In certain circumstances, the local authority will have a duty to provide any additional care required; this might be through the provision of money (direct payments), carers or other services.