Please note this is not legal advice

When making a request for a disability social care assessment , we need to think abut a few things so that the picture in our head is clear when we engage with the social care team who come to assess the family.

If you are writing it down and wish to submit it as a written evidence I highly recommend that you start it with the following clause.

“Strictly Confidential – Delete/destroy if you are not the intended recipient of this document”

Child’s needs

1.0 Medical diagnosis and concerns: If you have a list of medical diagnosis, when it was diagnosed etc that will help. This can also include suspected diagnosis that is still awaiting a formal verdict.
2.0 Complex Needs: What are the child’s complex needs if any: Think about the following points based on the EHCP format. If your child has an EHCP you’ll be able to gather this information from there
2.1 Independence and Self-care
2.2 Social emotional and mental health
2.3 Cognition and learning
2.4 Physical and sensory
2.5 Communication and interaction

3.0 Social Needs: What are the child’s social care needs. Do they get to access the community. Do they have any needs for preparation for adult hood. How is their independence. Do they have social life, friends, relationship etc.

4.0 Care Needs: What are the child’s care needs , do they have identified care needs in the EHCP or previous Section 17 assessment.

5.0 Health needs: What are their health needs as identified in EHCP or other medical letters. Are they on medicines. Does that need adult intervention. Do they need especial medical equipment. etc

Parent Carer’s needs

6.0 Work Parents : What do parents do for work. How does this impact their capacity to care for the child. Did they have to give up work or change career choices to care for the child.

7.0 Education Parents: Are the parents enrolled for any education. Did they have to give up education to care for the child?
8.0 Finances: How are the finances of the family. How des the child’s disability impact the house hold finances.
9.0 Accommodation: What is the situation with accommodation.

10.0 Health Mum (includes mental health): Please elaborate your health needs including impact on mental health.
11.0 Health Dad (includes mental health):Please elaborate your health needs including impact on mental health.
12.0 Caring responsibilities (who has carer role and what they do): This inclues siblings.
13.0 Social Life (do you have friends, family, what you do for your self): Do the parents have social life. Do you get to spend time doing any hobbies? Do you get to meet friends? Do you get to invite over family. Do you get to eat out? DO you get to enjoy some me time?
14.0 Extended family/fiends help: Do you have help from extended family/friends in caring for the child.
15.0 Family Life: Has there been an impact on your relationship?

16.0 General: Any other thing you want to mention. This may be the impact on other children in the family etc.

Professionals involved

Who are the professionals involved? List them out.

Current and past 

Have you had any social care intervention in the past or currently in place. Can you summarise it?

Social care needs provisions requested

17.0 What: What is it you are looking for. Think about sort breaks, PA hours, respite etc. The list of options available on your Local Offer website of your county/local authority
18.0 Why: Why do you think they need this help: Example to give some respite to parents, do build independence, to access the community , to learn a new skill etc.

19.0 By Whom: Who will provide this: Is it by PA, via agency staff, via sort breaks etc?
20.0 Outcome 1: Try to match the Why to the What. Example needs access to community, by a PA
21.0 Outcome 2: : Link to needs
22.0 Outcome 3: Link to needs
23.0 Outcome 4: : Link to needs
24.0 You can put this in a table format with the following heading: What, By Whom, When/How frequently, Outcome number

The law that applies here

25.0 The Children Act 1989 requires councils to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need and so far as possible to promote their upbringing within the family unit by providing a range of services suitable for those children’s needs. A child is in need if he or she is disabled. The Council is required under the Act to undertake an assessment of the child’s needs followed by a decision on whether services are called for to meet them and, if so, how they will be provided.

26.0 The Department of Health publication in 1990, Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond, advised that community care assessments and care plans must take account of the disabled person’s and the carer’s own preferences and that they “must feel that the process is aimed at meeting their wishes”. The guidance stresses the “preferences of carers should be considered and their willingness to continue caring should not be assumed”. The guidance says the disabled person’s “care plan should be the result of a constructive dialogue between service user, carer, social services staff and those of any other agency involved”.

27.0 The Carers (Recognition and Services Act) 1995 requires social service authorities, when requested, to carry out an assessment of a carer’s ability to provide and to continue to provide care for a disabled person or child at the same time as the needs of that child are assessed

28.0 The Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 gave local authorities the power to make cash payments directly to an individual, or another on his behalf, to purchase care services which the authority was, for whatever reason, not in a position to provide.

29.0 The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 gave carers the right to ask for an assessment of their needs. Following an assessment local authorities have the power to provide certain services to meet the carer’s needs and help the carer to care. The services to be provided are not defined. Section 2 of the Act says that services are those which the council sees fit to provide and which, in the council’s view, help the carer to care for the person cared for.

30.0 The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 inserted some further paragraphs into the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000. The extra paragraphs introduced a requirement for a carers assessment to include consideration of whether a carer worked or wished to work.

31.0 In 2000 the Department of Health introduced the Practitioners Guide to Carers’ Assessments under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000. The guidance said the intention of the carer’s assessment was to:
31.1 determine whether the carer is eligible for support;
31.2 determine the support needs of the carer (i.e. what will help the carer in their caring role and help them to maintain their own health and wellbeing); and
31.3 see if those needs can be met by social or other services.

32.0 The guide stated it was important the assessment process does not assume the carer wants to continue to provide care, or should be expected to. The guide says there should be no assumption carers will give up work to care and that the assessment should consider what the options are.
33.0 The Childcare Act 2006 requires local authorities to secure sufficient childcare to meet the requirements of parents in their area to enable them to work, or to take up training and educational opportunities which could lead them to work.

34.0 In 2007 the Government issued a publication: Aiming high for disabled children: better support for families. That publication set out actions required to improve outcomes and equality of opportunity for disabled children and their families. The publication said local authorities were required to analyse the gap between demand and supply of childcare for disabled children who need special care. Local authorities were then required to publish assessment documents and keep them under review at least every three years. The publication said this was a first step towards fulfilling the local authority’s duty to secure sufficient childcare to enable parents to work or to undertake educational training leading to work. The publication said in order to meet that duty local authorities must have particular regard to the provision of childcare which is suitable for disabled children.

35.0 The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011 requires local authorities to provide a range of short break services. That should include:
35.1 day-time care for disabled children;
35.2 overnight care for disabled children;
35.3 provision which will enable disabled children to participate in educational and recreational activities; and
35.4 emergency care, for example, due to illness in the family.

36.0 The Council has produced a short breaks statement detailing its provision and support for short breaks for parents and carers of disabled children.

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