Most people are referred to us. This is when someone asks us for a service for themselves, or for someone they're worried about.

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How do I ask for help?

You can ask your local Social Work office for an assessment. Relatives, carers, your GP or other health professionals (such as community nurses) can ask us to help you.

What happens when someone makes a Social Work referral?

When we are sent a referral, we will prioritise them. If we have urgent concerns about someone who is vulnerable, we will arrange a visit quickly.

Do you have to pay for Social Work services?

You do not have to pay for an assessment, but you may have to pay for some Social Work services. This depends on your income and savings.

From 1 April 2019 all adults who are assessed by Social Work Services as needing Personal Care are entitled to receive this without charge. Information on Free Personal Care can be found on the Care Information Scotland website.

How we assess your needs

If you ask us for help, or if someone asks us to help you, we will need to carry out an assessment of your needs.

We need to assess your needs so that we can decide:

  • If you will get any care services
  • The level and amount of services you will get
  • Who provides your services

What we mean by "eligibility criteria"?

To make sure our decisions are fair, everyone has to meet a set of national conditions, called eligibility criteria. The criteria helps us to identify the people who are at the greatest risk.

If the risks to your personal safety and maintaining your independence are high, we will discuss with you what services you need.

If these risks are lower, for example if you are having some difficulties with your daily living, we will give you information and advice.

The eligibility criteria has four levels:

  • Critical - This means there are major risks to your independent living or health and wellbeing. You are likely to need need services immediately or urgently
  • Substantial - This means there are significant risks to your independent living or health and wellbeing. You are likely to need services immediately or urgently
  • Moderate - This means there are some risks to your independent living or health and wellbeing
  • Low - This means there may be some problems with your quality of life, but low risks to your independence and wellbeing

How long will it take to complete my assessment?

We will aim to complete your assessment within:

  • One working day if your needs are critical
  • Ten working days if your needs are substantial
  • Three months if your needs are moderate
  • Three months if your needs are low

It is not always possible to keep to these targets as we may have to get information from other people. This is to make sure your assessment is fully complete. If this happens your social worker will explain why.

How will my assessment be used?

Your assessment will be used to decide if you can get services and what level of services.

Some services you may be able to get include:

  • Reablement services
  • Care at home
  • Day services, such as Dundas Resource Centre
  • Equipment and adaptations to your home, such as making lighting controls easier to use or installing a ramp
  • Telecare and Community Alarms
  • Short breaks
  • Sensory impairment services
  • Mental health support services
  • Learning disability services
  • Care homes

Your assessment will also be used to decide if you can get:

  • Free personal care if you are over 65 years of age
  • Free nursing care regardless of age

What is a carer's assessment?

In your assessment, we will ask if you get any help from relatives or friends, and whether they are willing and able to carry on in their caring role.

If a relative or friend provides or wants to provide you with regular care, we can offer them a carer’s assessment. In this assessment we’ll look at their needs and identify any help they may need from us in continuing to care for you.

What is an assessment?

An assessment is a way of getting support and care provided by us. We assess your individual needs and discuss all the options with you. This helps us to decide what care and support would be most appropriate for you.

In your assessment, we will ask you about:

  • Any medication you are currently taking
  • Your health history
  • Your home environment
  • Your ability to perform personal care tasks such as preparing and cooking food and climbing up and down the stairs
  • Care provided by family and friends
  • Your work history

We will ask you questions about how you are coping with:

  • Your independence
  • Maintaining personal safety
  • Your involvement with your family
  • Your social and work activities

We may need to share information with other agencies involved in your care such as your GP or community nurse. We will ask your permission to share this information. This is to make sure that any other services you need treat you consistently and respect your wishes.

Who will complete the assessment?

An assessment will be carried out by a Community Care Worker or a Social Care Officer. They are used to helping people and will talk to you about what help is available.

Where will the assessment be done?

We will usually do an assessment in your home. This will allow your social worker to see how you are coping at home. It may take more than one visit to complete your assessment.

If you are in hospital, a member of our Hospital Social Work Team will complete your assessment before you come home. Another worker may need to do a follow-up visit when you get home. We will explain this to you if we need to do this.

Who can be present at my assessment?

Your relatives, carers and friends are welcome at your assessment. If you need help to make your feelings known, you can bring someone to the meeting to speak on your behalf.

The assessment will be carried out in a way that will encourage you to take part and have your say.

Can I see my assessment?

Yes. If you would like a copy of your assessment, please ask your social worker for one. If you do not agree with what has been written down, your social worker will make sure that your views are written down alongside their views.

What is a care plan?

A care plan will tell you and everyone involved in your care the type and amount of support you will get from us. It will include any help you get from other people such as health professionals and any unpaid help from your family or friends.

Your care plan will show:

  • How much care and support will be given
  • When this will take place
  • Who will provide this and for how long
  • Any care needs that cannot be met

Anyone involved in your care will have access to your care plan. This will make sure that everyone involved in your care respects your needs and wishes. It also helps everyone involved to provide you with consistent care services and so that different services don't have to keep asking you the same questions about yourself.

What care services will not be provided free of charge?

You will not pay for personal care services if you have been assessed by your social worker. However help with housework, laundry, shopping or services outwith your home, such as the cost of attending day care centres, are not defined as personal care and may be chargeable.

Will my care be reviewed regularly?

Yes. Regular reviews help us to make sure you are getting the right services for your needs as these may have changed since your last assessment.

What if I am not able to get services?

We don’t have all the money or all the people we need to help everyone who is referred to us. And we can’t we always provide people with all the services they ask for.

We concentrate our services on people in critical or substantial need. If your needs are in the low or moderate categories, we will let you know about other services that may be able to help, such as voluntary organisations and community groups.