The aim of an assessment is to find out what needs someone may have and what goals (also known as outcomes) they want to achieve to maintain or improve their situation. Assessments should help people to understand their strengths and abilities, areas of their life that they need support and what help available.
This quick read chapter provides key information about Assessment.
- What is the aim of an assessment?
- What is covered during an assessment?
- How can assessments be carried out?
- Who can carry out an assessment?
- When should assessments take place?
The aim of an assessment is to find out what needs someone may have and what goals (also known as outcomes) they want to achieve to maintain or improve their situation.
Assessments should help people to understand their strengths and abilities, areas of their life that they need support and what help available.
Councils should consider the following areas when carrying out an assessment:
- how the person manages everyday tasks;
- what are their needs and wishes;
- their skills, strengths and abilities;
- the emotional and social side of their life;
- their choices and goals;
- any health or housing needs;
- their views, religious and cultural background and social supports;
- any physical difficulties they may have, and any risks;
- any needs of their family or carers.
Assessments must consider what support is needed right now and what might help in the future.
An assessment should involve not only the adult but also involve family, carers and any other person / professional that the person might want included.
An assessment can be carried out in a number of ways including:
- face-to-face assessment: between the adult and the assessor, who is usually a social worker or other trained professional;
- supported self-assessment: if the adult agrees and is able to, they can fill out a questionnaire that the council gives them. This should cover the same information as a face-to-face assessment;
- online or telephone assessment: this may be used when an adult’s needs are quite straightforward or where an adult is already known to the council and an assessment is happening because of a change in their needs or circumstances;
- joint assessment: this is where an adult’s assessment is carried out at the same time as another assessment, for example an assessment for continuing healthcare;
- combined assessment: this is where an adult’s assessment is combined with a carer’s assessment for example, so that both their needs are taken into account together.
Assessments can be carried out by a range of professionals who have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience. This may be:
- a social worker;
- an occupational therapist;
- a rehabilitation officer;
- someone else who is suitably qualified.
Assessments should start from when information starts to be collected about the adult.
After this first contact, full information about the assessment process should be given to the person. This should include what they should expect to happen during the assessment, and how it will be carried out and the time it will take.