Adult social care assessment

Understanding your social care needs.

1 What is an assessment?

A County Council social care assessment is a free service that helps us identify what you think you need, what is important to you and what you want to be able to achieve. Together we can decide whether you need support to manage your own care and wellbeing. We will encourage you to be as independent as possible, including helping you use the support available from your family, friends and local community.

Where appropriate, we will also gather information about your finances.

Before having an assessment you can also complete a self-assessment to help you think about your situation, whether or not you decide to ask us for help.

Supporting documents

2 Assessment for people with social care needs

Self-assessment

Self-assessment is designed to help you think about what is working well for you and what needs to change.

You can complete a form to help you:

  • plan and buy your own support; or
  • think about your situation before contacting us for a formal assessment.

A friend, relative or carer can also complete an assessment form on your behalf.

The easiest way to complete an assessment is to do it online:

Complete a self-assessment online (external link)

Or you can:

Once you have completed it, you can either:

  • keep it for your own personal use; or
  • send it to us to provide background information about your personal circumstances. In this case, one of our staff will contact you about a formal assessment after we have received your form.

Assessment by the County Council

You have the right to ask us to assess your needs if you think you need social care support. The assessment is free of charge and we will aim to complete it within 28 days of you contacting us.

If you have already submitted or returned a completed self-assessment form we will use this as part of your assessment.

We will:

  • discuss your circumstances, focusing on the issues that are important to your circumstances
  • work with you to identify what you want to achieve
  • look at your strengths and capabilities
  • identify support that may be available in your local community that could help you remain as independent as possible and prevent any further deterioration of your needs.

3 Assessment for family and friend carers

Self-assessment

Our carers' self-assessment is aimed at people who provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour. It is designed to help you think about what is working well for you and what needs to change.

It can be useful to complete a self-assessment form if you are thinking about contacting us to ask about support. You do not have to complete a self-assessment form before contacting us though; it is simply there to help you think about your situation.

The easiest way to complete an assessment is to do it online:

Complete a carers' assessment online (external link)

Or you can:

Carers Support West Sussex carry out the majority of carers' assessments on our behalf. You can find their contact details on the downloadable or paper forms.  

A member of their staff will contact you after they have received your form.

Formal assessment

If you provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour you are entitled to a formal assessment of your needs even if the person you care for:

  • has not been assessed
  • is not receiving services from the County Council.

The assessment is free of charge and we will aim to complete it within 28 days of you contacting us or Carers Support West Sussex.

If you have already submitted a completed carers' self-assessment, we will include what you have told us when we assess you.

The carer does not need to live in West Sussex but the person they are applying for must reside in the county.

4 What happens next

We use eligibility criteria to help us decide whether you are eligible for County Council-funded support. If you are eligible we will work with you to agree a plan of support.

If you are not eligible we will provide information, advice and assistance to help you plan the support you need.

We will also arrange emergency support to make sure you, or the person you are contacting us about, are safe if your assessment highlights a problem that needs addressing quickly.

Last updated:
29 July 2019
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