What is an Adult Social Care Assessment?

Adult social care assessments are free of charge and are available for anyone over the age of 18, who might need help. An assessment is the way we establish what a person’s strengths are and which areas they may need support with. You can ask for an assessment yourself.

The easiest way to ask for an adult social care assessment is to contact the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 01472 256256.

The SPA has trained advisors who will be able to discuss your situation with:

  • You
  • a carer, friend or family member (we will need your permission for this)
  • a professional such as your GP (we will need your permission for this)

Your assessment is a joint process between you and a social worker or care professional. Your adult social care assessment will generally be completed within 28 days from our contact with you. A social care practitioner or social care assessor will contact you and arrange a phone call or a visit.

Before we start

Before we start the assessment, we need to know whether you can fully take part in it or whether you have significant difficulties which might mean you need extra support with the assessment. We may talk to you about getting more support with your assessment, if you have difficulties with any of the following:

  • understanding the information we give you
  • retaining the information
  • using or weighing up the information as part of the process of being involved
  • communicating views, wishes or feelings

Making sure you have the right support will mean you get the best out of the assessment. Support with the assessment might come from someone you know and trust, such as a family member or friend. Or support might come from a trained advocate. We will discuss the options with you. For more information on how an advocate may be able to support you, please see our advocacy page (Information coming soon).

Making decisions

If we think that you might be unable to make a decision yourself about whether to have an assessment, and you have no one legally appointed to make decisions for you, we will make a best interests decision to decide if an assessment is the right thing for you. Please see our Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) page for further information on how we use the MCA in practice.

Stages of your Adult Social Care assessment

There are four stages to an adult social care assessment:

  1. How is my assessment carried out?
  2. How do we decide whether any of your assessed needs should be met by the Local Authority (Focus). 
  3. How do we complete a plan for how your identified needs are going to be met. At this stage we will also discuss your personal budget and how you might use it.
  4. How do we find out who much you may need to contribute towards your support.

Find out more

Stage 1: How is my assessment carried out?

Stage 2: How do we decide on your assessed needs?

Stage 3: How do we complete your care and support plan?

Stage 4: Paying for your care

Page last updated: 06 Oct 2023