Needs assessment by social services
To request an assessment of your needs, you should contact Social Care Direct (see contact box on the right-hand side of the page for details).
After you have contacted us and we have gathered initial information about you and your support needs, a social worker will visit you to carry out a full assessment of your social care needs. This will usually happen within four weeks of you contacting us.
Our assessment asks key questions about your life and starts to identify the support you may need. From this, we can work out if you can get help from the council, and how much money might be needed for your support. Although you can have a friend, relative or carer with you when the visit takes place, it is important for the social worker to see the service user alone as well.
In some circumstances, we may also need to assess your ability to make certain decisions for yourself (your mental capacity). This is so that we can make sure that you are able to consent to the support we are offering, or that you understand the risks if you refuse any support. See our Mental Capacity Act page for more information.
You can ask an advocate (representative) to help you. There are several local voluntary organisations which can provide this support. If you find it easier to talk to us in another language, you can ask us to bring an interpreter when we see you. Please let us know if you would like us to provide information in your preferred format, for example large print or Braille.
Qualifying for support from the council
We use guidelines set by the government known as 'eligibility criteria', to work out if you qualify for help from Adults and Communities. These guidelines are used because we want to make sure that:
- people in greatest need and most at risk receive help
- everyone who asks for a service is dealt with fairly using the same guidelines
- everyone understands what decisions we make and why.
We will use the information gathered at your needs assessment to determine which of the four bands your needs fall in:
Your needs will be assessed as meeting the critical band if your circumstances mean that you are at immediate risk in your daily life. For example, you are unable to carry out any of your personal care routines. You are at significant risk of harm or neglect.
Your needs will be assessed as meeting the substantial band if your circumstances mean that there is a risk of breakdown of the present situation. For example, you need support to carry out most of your personal care.
Your needs will be assessed as meeting the moderate band if your circumstances identify moderate risk in your daily life. For example, you have some difficulties with your personal care but this does not put you at risk.
Your needs will be assessed as meeting the low band if your circumstances identify minimal risk in your daily life. For example:
- you are able to carry out your personal care routine but with some difficulty
- you have some difficulty in accessing activities in the community but this does not affect your life.
Needs in the moderate and low bands will not qualify for help from Barnet Council. However, we may talk to you about short-term support we can offer so you can live more independently. See our regaining independence page for more information.
You will also be given information and advice to help you select the right long-term support for you or may be offered services from other agencies, such as voluntary or private agencies. Or you can search the directory on this site to find information on support services available in Barnet.
If your needs are in the substantial or critical bandings, you will be able to get support from the council.
We may initially talk to you about some short-term support for up to six weeks to help you with regaining your independence.
If you need longer term support, you will be given a personal budget so that you can have choice and control over your support. Your personal budget is the amount of money needed to meet your support needs. You will have a financial assessment to see if you need to contribute any of your own money towards your personal budget.
See our planning your support page for more information about getting a personal budget.