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Disabled children's social care needs assessment

The child and family care assessment is the process that children's social care services use to gather information about your child and family, so they can make a decision about what help you may need. The process for carrying out an assessment is contained within the Government's statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children.

This guidance tells local authorities what they must do to meet their legal responsibilities to families, including those with disabled children. Each local authority must decide how much detail is needed in each assessment, but the maximum time frame for any assessment is 45 working days from the date they get a referral.

Contact a Family has produced a guide for families about social care services, including the assessment process, when your child has additional needs.

How the child and family care assessment works for you

If your child is eligible for assessment for disability services, a social worker will make a child and family care assessment using the resource assessment matrix.

The outcome of the child and family care assessment will take account of the needs of the disabled child and of the family and carers. It is likely to include a range of responses tailored to the individual child. This may include specialist services from the council, such as short breaks and respite and specialist equipment, together with suggestions for services which are available more widely, which you can find on the WISH website.

Check whether your child is eligible for a social care assessment.