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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41


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See also

Multifactorial assessment or multifactorial falls risk assessment

Definition or reference in primary legislation
Care Act 2014, S.9

(1) Where it appears to a local authority that an adult may have needs for care and support, the authority must assess-- (a) whether the adult does have needs for care and support, and (b) if the adult does, what those needs are.
(2) An assessment under subsection (1) is referred to in this Part as a 'needs assessment'.
(3) The duty to carry out a needs assessment applies regardless of the authority's view of-- (a) the level of the adult's needs for care and support, or (b) the level of the adult's financial resources.
(4) A needs assessment must include an assessment of-- (a) the impact of the adult's needs for care and support on the matters specified in section 1(2), (b) the outcomes that the adult wishes to achieve in day-to-day life, and (c) whether, and if so to what extent, the provision of care and support could contribute to the achievement of those outcomes.

[S.10 makes similar provision for carers' assessments. S.11/S.12 provide further detail.]

Definition or reference in Statutory Guidance
Care and Support Statutory Guidance, para 6.3

An 'assessment' must always be appropriate and proportionate. It may come in different formats and can be carried out in various ways, including but not limited to:
- a face-to-face assessment between the person and an assessor, whose professional role and qualifications may vary depending on the circumstances, but who must always be appropriately trained and have the right skills and knowledge
- a supported self-assessment, which should use similar assessment materials as used in other forms of needs or carers' assessments, but where the person completes the assessment themselves and the local authority assures itself that it is an accurate reflection of the person's needs (for example, by consulting with other relevant professionals and people who know the person with their consent)
- an online or phone assessment, which can be a proportionate way of carrying out assessments (for example where the person's needs are less complex or where the person is already known to the local authority and it is carrying out an assessment following a change in their needs or circumstances)
- a joint assessment, where relevant agencies work together to avoid the person undergoing multiple assessments (including assessments in a prison, where local authorities may need to put particular emphasis on cross-agency cooperation and sharing of expertise)
- a combined assessment, where an adult's assessment is combined with a carer's assessment and/or an assessment relating to a child so that interrelated needs are properly captured and the process is as efficient as possible.

6.5 The aim of the assessment is to identify what needs the person may have and what outcomes they are looking to achieve to maintain or improve their wellbeing. The outcome of the assessment is to provide a full picture of the individual's needs so that a local authority can provide an appropriate response at the right time to meet the level of the person's needs. This might range from offering guidance and information to arranging for services to meet those needs. The assessment may be the only contact the local authority has with the individual at that point in time, so it is critical that the most is made of this opportunity.

Definition or reference in Statutory Guidance
CASSG Annex J (Glossary)

This is what a local authority does to find out the information so that it can decide whether a person needs care and support to help them live their day-to-day lives. A carer can also have an assessment.

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

The process of working out what your needs are. A community care assessment looks at how you are managing everyday activities such as looking after yourself, household tasks and getting out and about. You are entitled to an assessment if you have social care needs, and your views are central to this process.

Source: Stakeholder discussions

A local authority needs assessment (or care and support needs assessment) focuses on the eligibility criteria set out in the Care Act. A care provider may also carry out their own assessment to identify the details of a person's wishes and needs for care and support.

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