How to obtain a Social Care Assessment

How to obtain a Social Care Assessment

Many adults with an autism spectrum condition need help and support to live as independently as possible. Some may be able to pay for their support privately, however others will need support from local adult social services to organise and help pay for their support. Adult social care is about supporting and assisting people assessed as needing social care support who cannot manage alone due to severe illness, frailty, disability or vulnerability.

From 1 April 2015 most adult social care services in Plymouth will be provided by Livewell Southwest (previously known as Plymouth Community Healthcare).


The Care Act

In April 2015 changes were made to care and support in England. The Care Act will help to make care and support more consistent across the country.


Care and support

'Care and support' is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.

Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations.

A 'needs assessment' (previously known as a community care assessment) is the way social services find out what all your needs are and in which areas of your life you need support. Not everyone who has a needs assessment will then be entitled to receive support, but the only way to find out if you are entitled is to have a needs assessment.


  • Social services are under a duty to carry out a 'needs assessment' where there is an 'apparent need' under the Care Act 2014.
  • Social services have this duty whether or not services are likely to be provided.
  • You can no longer be denied an assessment if you have an IQ over 70.


You can request a 'needs assessment' in Plymouth in any of the following ways:


  • telephoning 'Adult Services' at Plymouth City Council on 01752 668000
  • asking a friend, relative or professional to ring on your behalf to help assist you. (Read our information about Advocacy)
  • emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • completing the online 'Social Care Self Assessment' form on the Plymouth Online Directory
  • using a model letter available from the NAS which you can use as a template, and send to: Plymouth City Council, Adult Services, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ.


Before contacting Adult Services to request a Needs Assessment we strongly advise reading the following useful links beforehand so that you are aware of:

  • What the assessment will cover and how it might be carried out
  • Determining eligibility and how social services work this out
  • What happens if you are not eligible
  • What services/support might be available


For this and more please see:

Community Care for Adults in England

Care and Support

Needs and Eligibility 

Leaflets and Publications for Adult Social Care

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