Assessing your social work needs

If you, or someone you care for, believe that Social Care support is required, a referral may be made and we will undertake an initial assessment.  This informs us of the ways in which you want to live your life and any support you need to achieve that.  There are various stages to receiving support:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Assessing your needs for support
  3. Choosing your Self Directed Support Options
  4. Creating a support plan


Eligibility leafletOur initial assessment involves establishing eligibility.  We use an  eligibility criteria, based on National guidelines, to ensure that everyone who asks for a service is dealt with according to their needs and that individuals in the greatest need, or at most risk are prioritised.

The eligibility criteria applies to both individuals who wish to refer for Community Care services and individuals who currently receive Community Care services.  When we review individuals who currently receive a service, the criteria means that existing services may be reduced or withdrawn if existing services are meeting needs which are now not reassessed as a priority.

In recognition of the pressures on local authority budget, a threshold for funding non-residential services will be set at the same level as the National Care Home rate, where this applies.  At present this national rate only applies to adults over the age of 65.  For all other care groups the threshold will be set at the average cost of equivalent residential provision for that care group in the previous year.  This will vary according to care group.

We have taken a policy decision that only those who have been assessed as having a critical or substantial need will be eligible for a service.

Critical risk

Major risks to an individual's independent living or health and wellbeing and is likely to require immediate provision.

Substantial risk

Significant risk to independent living or health and wellbeing and likely to require imminent provision.

If you are not eligible, we may provide information and advice on other sources of help where possible.  You may be interested in:

The next step

If you are eligible we will arrange a care assessment.  This will be prioritised, based on your initial assessment.  Find out more about assessing your needs for support.

How to request a referral

You can request to be referred for Social care support by contacting:

Additional information

Our Self Directed Support factsheets guide you through the process of:

  1. Assessing your needs
  2. Your Self Directed Support options
  3. How to make your support plan
  4. Information about after your support starts