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Assessment of Need for Care and Support


Anyone, adult or child, who feels they have a need for care or support can request a needs assessment. This is a statutory right and is regardless of the level of those needs. This means that you have a legal right to request an assessment of need.

There are different ways that you can have your or your family’s needs assessed. All of the ways will involve you and/or your child and you will be at the heart of the assessment.

An assessment is usually a discussion, or series of discussions, between you and a trained person, either from the council or another organisation that the council works with.

Why would I ask for an assessment of need?

An assessment of need will help you, your family and anyone working with you, to identify:

  • what you and/or your child’s needs are;
  • what support you may already have in place;
  • what things you and/or your child may still need help and support with (these are called unmet needs);
  • what you and/or your child feel will help make a difference for your family; and
  • what extra support to organise that may help

Assessment of Education Needs (SEN)

There are three stages to the assessment journey for special education needs.

  • Early Stages (introduction to SEN Support)
  • My Support Plan (Wakefield SEN Support)
  • Education, Health and Care Plans

For more information, please see Assessment Journey. You can also speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s nursery, school or college for more information.

Assessment of Children's Social Care Needs

You can contact support agencies and schools for help and support to identify (and meet) your child’s needs. One of more agencies may work with you to help identify your child’s needs.

If you would like someone to help with an assessment of need for your child, then please speak to someone you feel comfortable with. This could one of the people below:

  • Your child’s health visitor, GP or school
  • Your local Children’s First Hub
  • Children’s Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503.

Assessment of Adult's Social Care Needs

You should contact Social Care Direct first on 0345 8 503 503 if you, or someone you know, appears to need adult social care services in Wakefield.

Social Care Direct will make an assessment by asking questions over the phone. This gives the customer service adviser all relevant information to consider the help you might need.

If appropriate, your details will be passed to a community social work team to look at your social care needs. This will include a visit to your home by a social worker. If we don't think you need a social care assessment, we will give advice and information about what other agencies and support groups can offer.

More details on how to contact Adult Social Care, please click here

Assessment of Parent/Carer's Needs

The Council has a duty to assess the needs of any carer who requests an assessment, or who appears to need support. A carer’s assessment is usually a discussion between you and a trained person from the Council. This could be a social worker or an assessment officer. The Council works on the principal that parent/carer’s needs are looked at as part of a holistic assessment as described earlier in who can access specialist short breaks?, as this gives a clearer picture of any support that may be needed. 

However, parent/carers can ask to just have their own needs assessed.

As an example, the following parent carer factors are discussed as part of a holistic assessment:

  • own physical health and mental health
  • family factors (such as single parent, any relationship difficulties)
  • amount of support available from wider family or friends
  • caring for others (children or other adults)
  • being employed, in education or training
  • housing situation
  • quality of sleep
  • support during school holidays.

What do I do next?

If you are caring for an adult over the age of 18 years, then you will need an adult carer’s assessment.

If you are a parent or carer, caring for a child or young person under the age of 18 years, then you will need a parent/carer’s assessment. Please contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503 if you would like to talk to someone about a parent carer’s assessment.

Assessment of Health Needs

Your GP is your primary link and will help to co-ordinate any assessments of your health needs. Please speak to your health visitor, school nurse or GP if you have any concerns about your health.

Last reviewed: 06/11/2018