Social care assessments

How are social care assessments referred?

People can refer themselves or be referred by a professional.

Professionals refer through the Multi Agency Safeguarding hub (MASH) and will be asked to complete a referral form.

Families may refer themselves through the MASH or the SEND Single Point of Contact. They will be asked to provide basic information on the telephone including:

  • Name and address
  • The people who are living in the house
  • The nature of the young person’s needs
  • Any diagnoses the young person has
  • Other support or services they are receiving
  • If a child has a My Plan or a CAF
  • Support networks available to the child

When will there be an initial assessment made?

If families are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Short Breaks payment, we will ask how this is being used to support a child, as well as what use is being made of community or targeted services.

This information is used to determine whether a child’s needs can be met using universal or targeted services and what other members of a child’s family or community are able to do to support them.

If it is determined that a child has an outstanding need that cannot be met in this way, we would assign a qualified social worker to carry out an initial assessment, ideally within 5 working days.

What happens during an initial assessment?

During the initial assessment, the social worker will visit a child at home and talk to them about their life. This is to help us build a fuller picture of the child’s needs and how they are being managed. The social worker will then talk to any other professionals already involved in supporting a child, so we can co-ordinate any support with them.

What are the assessment criteria?

After the initial assessment a decision is made about whether a child meets our criteria:

  • Young people and their families whose main need for services arises out of the young person’s disabilities or intrinsic condition
  • These conditions have a substantial or critical impact on the quality of the young persons or/ and their families lives
  • Their needs cannot be met by Universal/ Targeted services alone.

What are the options after the initial assessment?

A family may be directed to more appropriate services or, if necessary, they will be assigned a social worker.

A family’s social worker will work with them to develop a plan on how to meet a young person’s needs. This is called a Child in Need Plan. If a child has a My Plan, this information will be used to inform the Child in Need Plan. How these two plans work together will depend on the individual circumstance and how a child’s needs are prioritised. However, if a child has a SEND lead worker, their social worker will work closely with them to support the child.

Like a My Plan, this plan will capture the child’s needs, the impact of their needs on their life and the outcomes they want to work towards. It will also outline who will be supporting a young person, when and how. Our social worker will also capture a carer’s needs alongside the child’s assessment.

If a social worker decides the young person needs a service provided by Wiltshire Council, they will make a referral to the Family Support Panel. This panel meets fortnightly and considers all recommendations for disabled children across the county.

At this point the family support panel may make a suggestion of a different service, if they feel it would better support a child. Or the panel may agree with the social worker’s recommendation.

If so, a direct payment could be offered. If the family choose not to take a direct payment, the social worker will set up the support and make sure the family remain informed.

Go to: Social workers

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Wiltshire Council