The assessment process

If the Initial Assessment team identifies you as potentially needing support to live independently, they may arrange a visit from a social care worker.

The social care worker will visit you at home to discuss what you can do, and where you may need support. This is called 'an assessment'. Put simply, it's a conversation about how best we can help you to remain active and independent.

The whole assessment process - from this initial visit through to deciding what services, if any, you'll benefit from - can take up to three months.

When the team work with you on your assessment they'll check that you're able to take part, fully, in each step. If you have substantial difficulty in being involved (such as difficulty understanding or retaining information), and if you don't have family or friends who can help, they'll arrange for an independent person (called an advocate) to help you, free of charge.

What information will you ask me for?

Your social care worker will ask about the help you already get from family or friends and where you need a bit more help. They'll also collect basic information about you, like your address and your date of birth, and some information needed to meet our statutory equality duties, such as your religion and ethnicity.

What guidelines do you use to assess whether I'm eligible for support?

We will decide if you're eligible to receive care and support from the council.

To do this, we use national rules (the Eligibility Regulations) to decide if you have any eligible care and support needs.

What happens after my care and support circumstances have been assessed?

We'll work with you to identify how we can prevent or reduce your eligible needs.

We want to help you to be as independent as possible, so first we look at how you can help yourself and the support you could get from family, friends and your community.

If you have eligible support needs that can't be met through family, friends and the community, then we'll provide appropriate support.

The activities and services you need to meet your needs are recorded on a form called a Care and Support Plan.

Reviewing your support

Your Care and Support Plan is reviewed regularly to make sure your support is helping you to be independent, safe and well. Our aim is to help you achieve the goals set out in the plan as effectively as possible. This will be through a combination of voluntary and community sector support and targeted council provision when needed.

Tell us what you think

If you don't agree with the decisions made about your eligibility or care, you should discuss the matter with the member of staff concerned. If you're still not happy, you can ask their manager to review the decision.

If you're still unsatisfied and would like to make a formal complaint then you should contact the council's Complaints Officer. Find out more on the Making a Complaint page.