Assessment of Needs
Not all children and families will need the same level of
support, or Short Breaks Services. Some will need more than
others because of the nature of their child’s disability, or the
effect it has on normal day-to-day activities.
This is why we may need to assess your child and families needs
to be able to provide the Short Breaks Services at the right
Assessments can be brief depending on the nature of the
circumstances. In some cases it may be sufficient to
decide the nature of any services required. In others it may
determine that a single assessment is required.
Our aim is that the level of assessment is proportionate to the
apparent level of need of the family and to ensure that the welfare
of the child is safeguarded.
The Children’s Act 1989 defines a child with a disability as a
Child in Need (CIN). As such local authorities have a
responsibility under legal framework to assess the impact of
any disability on family life by considering:
- The child’s developmental needs
- The parents’ parenting capacity
- Family and environmental factors
Local authorities also have a duty to assess the needs of carers
taking account of their wishes to undertake work, education,
training or leisure activities. Assessments typically consist
of an analysis of need, judgement and decision making and may be
one or more of the following:
- Carers Assessment
- Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
- Single Assessment
There may be occasions when situations arise that have a
significant effect on your immediate ability to provide care for
your child with a disability. In these circumstances please
contact the Social Care Teams who will assess the need for
How do I Arrange an Assessment?
Families are legally entitled to request a formal assessment of
their individual circumstances and this assessment should precede
any decisions made regarding allocation of services.
Common Assessment Framework (CAF) Assessments can be completed
by a Lead Professional from one of the following:
- General Practitioners, Health Centres, Child Development
Centre, School Nurses & Primary Care Trust
- Nurseries, Pre-Schools, Lower, Middle and Upper Schools and
- Voluntary Sector Organisations
- Social Care Workers
- Intensive Family Support Service
Child in Need (CIN) and Carer Assessments can be arranged by
Social Care Teams who can be contacted through our Multi
Agency Support Hub by telephoning: 01234 718700
What Happens Next?
Once a Lead Professional or Social Care Worker has been
identified they will arrange to conduct a formal assessment of your
needs and refer you to the appropriate services.
Some referrals will be made to Resource Allocation Panels who
will use the assessment to identify a tailored package of Short
Breaks Services which can meet your individual needs.
Right to Appeal
Families and individuals have a right to appeal the assessment
of their needs. This can be discussed with the Lead
Professional or Social Worker who has undertaken the