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Whats a carers assessment?(4 Posts)
Title says it all really. What is it? Whats the benefit in having it?
a carers assessment is done by ss it is to see what your needs are, i did one a few weeks ago i asked for respite but my dd sw didn't know what to do with assessment so she filed it and told me i can't get any help as nobody else could cope with dd, to be honest i can't see the point in doing one.
Well its supposed to be an assessment by social services (usually disabled childrens team) to consider if you need support to help you manage your carers responsibilities. The support can be equipment, adaptations, or buying in help. Usually it means 'short breaks' which mean that you should get a break from caring from time to time. This could be a sitting service, a formal arrangement where you buy in help or you can take the equivalent services in direct payments and organise your own 'break'. For severely disabled older children it could mean the child going to a respite home or family for a night or two from time to time.
A 'new' legal duty to provide short breaks came in recently here although councils were offering them under aiming high for disabled children money which the last government funded.
The council should also at the same time do an assessment of the disabled child (so they can assess the collective impact) and can arrange help eg 1:1 support to do leisure activities etc. However with the funding cuts many councils are cutting back on support which is not deemed a critical or substantial need (are four categories low, moderate, substantial and critical). Critical mean you have to be basically suicidal before they will help you. Birmingham just had a legal decision against them for trying to limit services to critical only.
Really good free legal advice here. Lots of stuff councils do on eligibility criteria is not lawful eg excluding those who don't hit certain categories without doing a full assessment of need.
We did the assessment about 2 years ago and got 2 hours direct payments per week. We know similar families who get alot more and some who get nothing so alot depends on your sw. We found you had to have a very clear idea of what you wanted and why, it helped we have no nearby relatives. We asked for some family time to spend with our two non disabled children as otherwise they never got time to spend with both of us - and said we needed to spend time on homework and outings which DS could not tolerate. Clearly two hours is not enough to do anything so we save it up and book half a day. we also knew nursery staff etc that would babysit DS3 for us so we had a plan of how it would work. I think if you do your homework and come up with the solution eg direct payments to pay for something specific then its harder for them to argue there isn't a need. They don't usually suggest anything so find out whats available locally from other parents and then make a case for a service you know they offer. If they say they don't have a service then say you would like direct payments to buy in help yourself. DP are about £9 an hour less tax/NI. Often local groups eg Barnardos or private agencies have specialist staff / respite services
DS did not get assessed as needing anything eg help to access leisure activities as they had no services for under 6's but we were advised by other families to take what was on offer and then you are in the system and can get more help later. There tends to be much more available for older children.
Many councils also have lots of money in different pots here there is respite / DP via Disabled Childrens team; 'short break' leisure activities via inclusion team and sitting service via a voluntary group which the council funds - so three pots of money. All with different rules!
DS's sw did an assessment last week and is coming out next week to tell me of her findings and what they can offer. Would this have included a carers assessment do you think?
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