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Social Care Assessments

We provide services to children and young people assessed as being 'in need' according to the Children Act 1989. Under Section 17 (11) of the Children Act 1989, the Department has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and to establish whether a child is in need by providing for an assessment of their needs. Children with a disability are classified by the Act as children in need. 


In completing their assessment the Social Worker will seek to work in partnership with parents.


  • Prior to the assessment being started workers will provide parents with an explanation of the assessment processes. and which will require the co-operation of parents in meeting.
  • The Social Worker will agree with the parents the purpose of the assessment.
  • Social Workers will with parental consent contact all key agencies who are involved with the child and request copies of pertinent information to inform the assessment.
  • Parents and young people are invited to identify their views as part of the assessment and on completion will be provided with a copy
  • Where significant issues of difference between the views of the parent / carer and Social Worker a case discussion will be arranged with the Team Manager to explore the differences.
  • Parents will be advised of how to use the Complaints Procedure and will be supplied a copy of the Complaint leaflet when undertaking the assessment and thereafter on an annual basis.
  •  In an emergency, services can be considered while an assessment is underway.


Currently the Government are undertaking a review of assessment processes following the Munro report and SEN Green Paper  to simplify processes.


At this time there are currently 3 types of assessment:


Initial Assessment

An Initial Assessment will be sufficient in most situations where the trigger for the assessment is a request for a short break.

For relatively low levels of short break provision, where a detailed ECAF has been produced by the Children with Disabilities Family Support Team, or has been reviewed and contributions made the team then support may be considered.


Core Assessment

Where a child's needs and family circumstances are more complex a Core Assessment will identify what types and level of services will be most appropriate to meet the identified needs.


Carer's Assessment

Parents of disabled children have the right to request an assessment of their own needs. Such a request indicates the need for an Initial and possibly Core Assessment. The needs of the parents can be recorded under the dimension of family functioning of the Assessment Framework. While there has to be a discrete focus on the needs of the carer the outcome of this assessment should be integrated with the broader assessment of the disabled child and family. Carers' assessments are not conducted in isolation.


Child in Need Plan

Once the assessment has been completed the Social Worker will provide the family with a Child in Need Plan which identifies the support to be offered


Specialist Assessment

If your child and family`s situation is particularly complex then further assessments may be required to draw together support from a range of agencies


Reviews / Family Action Meetings

Depending on the child and family`s needs review planning meetings may be held to implement the Child in Need Plan. Review meetings will otherwise generally be held on a 6 monthly basis unless indicated otherwise.