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

Social Work Assessments

I qualified as a Social Worker in 2009 with a MSc in Social Work from Royal Holloway, University of London and am registered with Social Work England (SW23389) and Social Care Wales (W/5036856).   Since qualifying I have worked for local authorities until 2012 when I became an Independent Social Worker.  I have worked across a range of services with children, adults and those transitioning between the two services.  This places me in an excellent (and somewhat unique) position to provide a range of Social Work assessments and reports for both children and adult.

Care Assessments for Adults

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.

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. This may be a second opinion assessment 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.

Carer Assessment (Caring for an Adult)

The Care Act 2014 raised the profile of carer assessments and identifies that carer assessments are as important as care assessments.  Carer assessments should be undertaken where an unpaid carer (usually friends or family) provides care to another adult.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always reflected in practice and carer assessments are sometimes omitted when a person’s care needs are assessed, even if it is obvious that there is also an unpaid carer.

I am instructed by individuals, solicitors and local authorities to undertake carer assessments.  As an experienced expert witness in this area of Social Work, I can take instruction where court proceedings are underway, and an independent expert is required to complete a carers assessment.

Using the framework identified within the Care Act, I will produce an accurate and objective assessment of a carers needs and examine the impact that the caring role has upon them. My assessments assist courts and local authorities when determining the correct level of support that unpaid carers require to continue this vital role.

Child’s Needs Assessment

If a child is approaching the age of 18, and it appears that they are going to require care and support when they’re 18, the local authority must assess their care needs if they consent or it would be in their best interests.  The local authority must also be satisfied that the assessment would be of significant benefit to the child.  If the child doesn’t consent, and they are at risk or experiencing abuse or neglect, the local authority must undertake a needs assessment regardless.

A child’s needs assessment will explore the likelihood and impact of the child’s needs for care and support after they become 18, the outcomes that the child wishes to achieve in day-to-day life and whether, and if so to what extent, the provision of care and support could contribute to the achievement of those outcomes.

Having worked as a Social Worker across children and adult services, I am well placed to be instructed to undertake a Child’s Needs Assessment and can be instructed by individuals, local authorities and solicitors.

Child’s Carer’s Assessment

Local authorities must undertake an assessment of a child’s carer’s needs if it appears that the child will require care and support after they become 18 and they believe that it will be of significant benefit to the carer to do so.

A child’s carer’s assessment must include an assessment of whether the carer is able to provide care for the child and is likely to continue to be able to do so after the child becomes 18, whether the carer is willing to do so and is likely to continue to be willing to do so after the child becomes 18, the impact of what the carer’s needs for support are likely to be after the child becomes 18, the outcomes that the carer wishes to achieve in day-to-day life and whether, and if so to what extent, the provision of support could contribute to the achievement of those outcomes.

Having worked as a Social Worker across children and adult services, I am well placed to be instructed to undertake a Child’s Carer’s Assessment and can be instructed by individuals, local authorities and solicitors.

Parenting Assessments

My parenting assessments incorporate a systematic approach using a proven conceptual model which examines three key areas of a child’s life; the child’s developmental needs, the capacity of parents or carers, the impact and influence of wider family and any other adults living in the household as well as community and environmental circumstances. I am Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) trained (since 2010) which provides me with the skills and knowledge to achieve best evidence when interviewing children and vulnerable adults.

I am qualified to use the ParentAssess model of assessing a parent’s capacity to parent and I adopt the model for all of my parenting assessments.  The framework is easy to read by those being assessed and is designed to be understood by parents who live with a learning disability.  It takes into consideration good practice principles that have been identified in case law and as well as a full report for the courts and lawyers, a simplified, summary assessment is written for the parent being assessed.

As a specialist adults and children’s Social Worker, I have a thorough knowledge of issues that affect adults such as learning disabilities, a decline in mental health and dementia.  I have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete court compliant parenting assessments that account for conditions that adults live with including learning disabilities, dementia and a decline in their mental health.

Immigration and Bespoke Reports

Due to my experience of working across adult and children’s services, I am well placed to undertake reports that examine the effects of families being separated.  Increasingly, I am instructed by specialist human rights lawyers in immigration cases where a client is appealing a notice of deportation on human rights grounds.  I can write independent reports that examine the effects of deportation upon the client and their family including welfare reports for children.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss any Social Work Assessments.