Child Community Care Assessments

Sinclairslaw is able to provide you with specialist community care law advice on any aspect of community care law for children, including child community care assessments. We often work closely with our colleagues in the education department to ensure a holistic approach in meeting the needs of children.

Community care assessments for children are usually carried out under s17 Children Act 1989, which enables the Local Authority to make provision for services to children and their families where a child is deemed to be a child in need ie where the child has health or developmental problems or where the child is disabled.

A full assessment under s17 Children Act 1989 is known as a Core Assessment and it should normally be completed within 35 working days. It is a wide-ranging assessment and should consider three main areas of the child’s life ie family and environmental factors; the child’s developmental needs and the parenting capacity of the parents. If relevant, other information may be needed to complete the Core Assessment eg from the child’s school, GP and/or any other health professionals.

Under the community care legislation, parents also have a freestanding right to an assessment as the child’s carers (see separate tab for Carers Assessments). The outcome of any Carers Assessment should also be taken into account before any decision is made about the child’s eligibility for any community care services.

A Core Assessment must be completed in accordance with the statutory guidance issued to local authorities in England & Wales. In reaching a decision about what support is to be offered to a child and their family, the local authority must also consider the appropriate criteria to decide whether a child is entitled to receive community care services.

Where a young person under the age of 18 years is in receipt of children’s services and has long term needs, a smooth hand over into adult community care services should take place. Transition planning should begin at the age of 14 years to ensure continuity of care and a seamless transition for children who will be requiring care from adult services when they reach their 18th birthday.

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