The first stage to get help from social services is to request a Needs Assessment, also known as a Community Care Plan. Referrals, you can self refer or ask a professional or friend to do it for you. This can be done by calling the Enfield Council Social Care Access Team on 020 8379 1001 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To get support a person must meet an eligibility threshold, this means that they have a level of need that confers a legal responsibility on the local authority to provide services to help them.
If a person is self-funding, for example, has savings in excess of £23,250, then they can still ask social services for an assessment and to provide services, but they will be responsible for meeting all costs; this would also incur a one-off fee of £250 to cover administration costs. However, as the setting up of services would be performed by social services and they would review needs on a yearly basis. Many people may decide that paying this fee is worth doing.
How much can I get involved in a care plan?
A care plan is a person-centred process and so the views of the person you care for (who is known by the council as the “service user”) should be listened to and documented. Carers also should be involved in the process, where possible, as there should be no assumption that they will provide any aspects of care, but they can accept responsibility to meet specific needs.
A service user can make any reasonable request from social services but the main duty that social workers have is to meet any identified needs. If a social worker states a need can be met in a specific way, that the service user disagrees with, then requests can be made for a preferred service. However, if this costs more than the provision offered then there is no obligation for social services to provide a requested service just because it is preferable to the service user. In these cases, a direct payment would usually be offered, to the value of the service recommended by the social worker, which the service user can use to pay towards meeting their needs in the manner that they wish.
A carer can express their views, however, the social worker’s role focuses on meeting the needs of the service user. If a carer disagrees with what a service user has requested this would normally have little bearing unless the service user has substantial difficulty when communicating or lacks capacity; in these cases, an advocate should be provided to support the service user through the process.