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Assessments overview


What is an assessment?

Care and support needs asssessments are free of charge and are available for anyone over the age of 18.

It is a discussion with you about what your current strengths are and areas where you may need some support. We can guide you to the sort of help you could benefit from.

If you would like a needs assessment you can contact us.


Why might I need an assessment from Adult Social Care?

You may require an assessment if you are having difficulties managing with your daily activities and tasks, finding it hard to get out of the house or even just coping with day to day life.

You can ask us to arrange for someone to assess you. If you are already receiving a service and you feel that your needs have changed, you can ask for a review.


How do I get an assessment?

There are a number of ways in which you can get a needs assessment including

  • self-referral
  • a referral from a carer, friend or family member
  • a referral from a professional such as your GP, with your permission

Once we are aware that you may have needs, we have a duty to make sure that you have an assessment.

To request a needs assessment you will need to contact Staffordshire Cares where one of the advisors will ask you a few questions about your situation so that they can provide suitable information and advice and refer you to right people to carry out your needs assessment.

Online self assessment

You can also use an online self assessment if you are simply looking for advice about care and support as you will get helpful information, advice and guidance. The self assessment also asks for details about your care and support needs and will recommend whether you would benefit from speaking to a member of the Staffordshire Cares team who can discuss your needs in more detail.

If this is recommended, the form can be used to send your information on to us. An advisor will then be in touch.


How will the assessment be carried out?

The needs assessment and support planning process should consist of four parts:

  • An assessment of your needs and circumstances
  • A decision as to whether any of the assessed needs should be met by the local authority under its eligibility criteria (i.e. decision to provide services)
  • A plan for how they are going to meet these needs (the care and support plan)
  • A financial assessment to find out what, if anything you will have to pay and the amount of any direct payments that will be made towards your care and support.

The needs assessment may be carried out by:

  • a social care practitioner, also sometimes known as a care manager or key worker
  • an occupational therapist or an assistant working under close supervision

It is important that the person being assessed and the people who support them are actively involved in the process so that they are in control of their care and support plan.


What do I do?

Throughout the whole assessment we will involve you. We will make sure that the process is appropriate to you. It is flexible and identifies what your strengths are and identifies the areas where you need support in order to achieve your goals.


Can somebody help me?

If you would like to have someone to help you, like a family member or close friend whilst undergoing the assessment, this is okay. You will need to give your consent for them to help you, and try to make sure you are fully involved in completing the assessment if you can.

If you are not able to be fully involved and do not have friends or family to help, you can be referred to an advocate who can help you.


What does it involve?

An assessment starts by considering your strengths, the support you can get within your community and then how other services or equipment could meet your care and support needs. 

It is vital that you give as much detail about your day to day life as possible. Think about all aspects of your life, such as:

  • personal care
  • washing
  • showering
  • dressing
  • going to the toilet
  • preparing meals
  • shopping


What is the aim of the conversation?

It is to:

  • Understand your strengths and the things you enjoy, as well as the areas of your life that may be difficult for you. This will include your cultural or spiritual needs.
  • Support you to understand your situation and what you can do to reduce or delay the need for social care support.
  • Identify needs that could be reduced, or delayed by providing short term support (reablement) or with advice and information.
  • Understand how you manage throughout the day. This could be practical tasks such as washing, dressing and getting around your home.
  • Establish how your needs impact on your daily life and your well-being.
  • See whether you are able to get involved in activities in your local community. Are you struggling to attend activities that you used to enjoy and are important to you?
  • See if you are able to see or speak to family and friends.
  • Understand the needs of your carer if you have one.
  • Look at the caring responsibilities you might have for someone else.
  • Understand what you would like to be able to achieve - your goals in life.
  • Check your safety around the house and when you are out.

Following this process, a decision will then be made about your  eligibility for local authority funded care and support.


What happens once my needs have been assessed?

After a needs assessment, the assessor will decide whether or not the council should provide or arrange care and support services for you under the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria must comply with national guidance issued by the Government to promote fairness and consistency.

Following a needs assessment a care and support plan must always be discussed, agreed and written down. You or your representative should be provided with a copy of it. This tells you the services you have been assessed as needing and how they will be arranged.


What happens if you are not happy with the needs assessment?

If you are not happy with the outcome of the needs assessment, ask for a copy of it, including the reasons why the help cannot be offered. You can then use the appropriate complaints procedure to challenge the needs assessment.


What if I have already had an assessment?

Who do I contact?

If you have had an assessment and you have a named social care worker then you should contact them directly.

Who else can I contact?

Please  get in touch with the Staffordshire Cares team and we will assist you.

What if it's outside of office hours?

If you are dealing with a high risk or urgent situation and you cannot wait for the local office to open, then contact the emergency duty team:

Phone: 0345 604 2886
Mobile (text only): 07773 792016
Minicom: 01785 277309

Staffordshire Assist are an out of hours emergency British Sign Language interpreting service.



Additional information 

  • Which? provides further information and checklists that can used to prepare for a care and needs support assessment.
  • Disability rights UK provides further information about assessment, eligibility and support planning.
  • Age UK provide information about needs assesments.


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