Assessing your care needs

Assessment process

An assessment is a conversation about your needs, how these affect your wellbeing and what you want to be able to do in your daily life.

When can I get a social care needs assessment?

We aim to carry out assessments as quickly as possible. Some people will need to be assessed straight away if things are urgent.

Advocacy support

If you need support to take part in your assessment, you should be offered an independent advocate. This is someone who can help you express your needs and wishes.


We will treat the information you give us during your assessment as confidential. We will share information with other services if you give your consent, and if this can help in providing support for you. In exceptional circumstances we may be required to share information, for example if we believe someone's safety is at risk or the law requires it.

Eligibility for social care from the council

We use the 2014 Care Act to decide if you are eligible for social care from the council. The criteria says that a person is eligible for social care if they meet all three of the below three conditions:

  1. If they have needs related to a physical or mental health impairment or illness.
  2. If they are unable to achieve two or more of the outcomes listed below as a result of their needs.
  3. If there is likely to be significant impact on their wellbeing as a result.

The outcomes we will look at are around:

  • Managing and maintaining nutrition
  • Maintaining personal hygiene
  • Managing toilet needs
  • Being appropriately clothed
  • Maintaining a habitable home environment
  • Being able to make use of the home safely
  • Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services
  • Carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child.

What happens next?

You will be given a copy of the assessment. We can give a copy to your carer if you want us to.

If you are eligible for support from the council, the next stage is normally to agree a Support Plan. The support plan describes the amount and type of support that is right for you and when it will start or change. It is regularly reviewed.

You may need to pay for part or all of your care and support services. See our information on paying for care for more information.

If you are not eligible for help from the council, we will still give you advice about who you can go to for support and how to stay as well as possible.

If you disagree with a social care needs assessment decision

If you do not agree with the outcome of the assessment, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. You can ask the member of staff who visited to carry out the assessment, or see our information on how to make a complaint.

Support for carers and family members

If a family member or a friend care for you on a regular basis, they will be offered a separate carer assessment. This is a chance to talk about how caring responsibilities are affecting them, what support may be needed and whether the person qualifies for support from the council as a carer.  Information, advice and support for carers is also available from Carers of Barking and Dagenham, on or 020 8593 4422.

More information

You may find the following national websites useful in explaining more about adult social care assessments: