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How to get care and support

Care and support is changing

You may have heard of changes because of the Care Act, which will help to make care and support consistent across the country.

About Care and Support - Care Act.


Getting care and support

This factsheet tells you how we help people over the age of 18 to get care and support to remain independent, safe and well. This includes care and support for adults, older people, people with a learning disability and people with a mental health problem.

We also provide support for carers, and for families with a disabled young person (as part of them moving to adult care and support).

‘Care and support’ is the help some people need to live as well as possible with any illness, disability or impairment they may have.

It can include help with things like washing and dressing yourself, preparing and eating meals, getting out and about, and keeping in touch with friends and family.

This is one of a range of factsheets about care and support in Sheffield.


If you think you need our help, please contact us. Contact details are at the end of this factsheet.

When you contact us, we will talk to you about the problems you are having and the issues you are facing, and how you can get care and support.

If you need short term help to regain your independence, we will talk to you about the care and support we can give you to help you learn new ways to do things and live as independently as possible.

If you have long term care and support needs, we will arrange to visit you to carry out an assessment of your needs.

Assessing your needs

This assessment is about you, so take some time before the visit to think about

  • what’s important to you, and what you can do for yourself
  • how your family and local community support you
  • what’s difficult for you, and how you overcome any problems.

For example, you may have concerns about your health, medicines, personal care, sight, hearing, emotional well-being, managing your home, social activities or getting about. You may find it helpful to make some notes beforehand to help you remember questions you want to ask or concerns you want to discuss.

We will make sure you are able to be involved in your assessment and care and support planning. If you have substantial difficulty in being involved in your assessment and care and support planning (such as difficulty understanding or retaining information), and you have no family or friends who can help, we will arrange for an independent person (called an advocate) to help you so you can be fully involved. There’s more information about this in our Independent Advocacy factsheet.

The assessment is a chance for you to discuss your care and support needs, in confidence, with a social care worker. They will meet with you and anyone you want to be involved, to ask how you manage your day to day life activities and what help you need to stay independent. They will explain the process, and listen to your views and the views of family and friends, and other professionals involved in your care, like your doctor. You will be encouraged to explain what you think you need and what you want to be able to do in the future.

They will talk to you about how you can use benefits like the mobility component of your Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, or your Motability vehicle, to get about. They will also talk to you about how equipment and technology could help you around the home and keep you safe and independent, and how this can be arranged.

Your social care worker will ask about any support you get from your family, and will ask them if they would like an assessment of their needs as a carer to make sure we can support them too.
Your social care worker will record your needs on a form called the Assessment Questionnaire. An example form is available at the bottom of this page. The form includes personal information about your health and background, so we keep this information securely. If you have health, housing or care and support needs we may need to share your information with other agencies. We will always ask you first, unless we need to act quickly to protect you from harm.

Prioritising needs

We will then decide if you are eligible to receive care and support from us. We use national rules (called the Eligibility Regulations) to decide if you have any eligible care and support needs. Care and support to meet these needs makes sure you are safe, and that you are able to maintain your independence.

Your social care worker will consider whether you can do things such as

  • prepare and eat food and drinks without help
  • keep yourself or your clothes clean
  • manage your toilet needs
  • dress yourself properly
  • move around safely
  • keep your home clean and safe
  • keep in contact with other people
  • take part in activities like work, volunteering or learning
  • use local services, such as buses or shops
  • carry out any caring responsibilities you have.

Your social care worker will then decide how your care and support needs affect your wellbeing, including your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Your wellbeing includes

  • relationships with family and friends
  • physical and mental health
  • keeping safe
  • having enough money
  • having a good place to live
  • being able to control your daily life.

We don’t take into account any help provided by a carer, or your ability to contribute towards the cost of your care and support, at this stage. We will look at how your needs will change over time. You may have had care and support needs in the past that you don’t have now, but may have again in future. You may have good or bad days, or you may find it more difficult to do things at different times, such as caring for a child during school holidays.

After your assessment

Whatever the level of care and support needs you have, we will work with you to identify how we can reduce your needs or prevent them from getting worse.

We want to help you to be as independent as possible, so we first look at how you can help yourself, and the support you get from family, friends and your community. If your assessment shows you still have eligible care and support needs, and there is no one available to help with those needs, we will provide care and support.

If you have no eligible care and support needs we will help you to remain safe, independent and well by giving you information and advice about community and voluntary services that can help you.

If you’re not happy with our decision speak to your social care worker about using our ‘Look Again’ process, where your assessment is checked again. If this doesn’t resolve the situation ask your social care worker how you can make a complaint.

Planning your care and support

If you have eligible care and support needs we will help you to decide how your needs can be met and the outcomes you want to achieve. The activities and services to be arranged to meet your needs are recorded on a form called a Care and Support Plan (details on page 6).

We will involve you as much as possible in the care and support planning process, and you can complete as many of the tasks as you want and are able to do.

We will discuss with you whether we should arrange and pay for the services in your Care and Support Plan (this is called Council arranged care and support), or whether you have money paid to you or to a family member or friend as a Direct Payment so that you can organise and pay for the services in your plan yourself. Your plan can include Council arranged care and support and a Direct Payment.

Paying towards your care and support

We will also carry out a financial assessment to work out how much you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your care and support. The general rule is that you either pay the total cost of your care and support, or you contribute what your financial assessment shows you can afford and we pay the rest.

Organising your care and support

When your plan is complete we will send you a copy, together with a copy of your Assessment Questionnaire. We will then help you to arrange your care and support, and let you know if you need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.

We will then check with you after a few weeks to make sure your care and support is working and meeting your needs. This will provide an opportunity for you to let us know how your arrangements and services are working.

Reviewing your care and support

We will review your Care and Support Plan regularly to make sure you still need care and support, and that it is meeting your needs. You can also ask for a review if you find you no longer need care and support or your situation changes. Our Reviews factsheet has more details about this.

Tell us what you think

If you have a suggestion, comment or complaint about any Council service you can tell us what you think

Where can I get more information?

If you have a question about this factsheet, want a printed copy to be sent to you, or want to speak to someone you can contact us.

Information can be provided in alternative formats and other languages on request.

Factsheet to download

This information is available in a factsheet you can download.

You can also read about how you can get help with travel arrangements and what a Support Plan and Assessment Questionnaire look like.

  • Modified: May 20, 2015 3:18:25 PM