Information and advice to be obtained of EHC Needs Assessments:
6.(1) Where the local authority secures an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person, it must seek the following advice and information, on the needs of the child or young person, and what provision may be required to meet such needs and the outcomes that are intended to be achieved by the child or young person receiving that provision—
(e) advice and information in relation to social care;
(f) advice and information from any other person the local authority thinks is appropriate;
(4) The local authority must not seek any of the advice referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) to (h) if such advice has previously been provided for any purpose and the person providing that advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are satisfied that it is sufficient for the purposes of an EHC needs assessment.
What happens in Surrey?
When the LA agrees to assessment following a request for a EHC Needs Assessment all the paperwork will be sent to the Social Care Assessment Team. As you can see from the piece of Law above this is the correct process.
If your child is already open to social care your allocated worker will be contacted and asked to provide social care advice.
If your child is not open to social care the request will be sent to the Social Care Needs Assessment Team.
The paperwork will be read so they have a clear overview of your family situation, and you will then be contacted by telephone, text and/or email and offered a Social Care Needs (SCN) Assessment.
If you would like to proceed with having an assessment you will be allocated to a Social Worker who will contact you to explain the process, answer any questions and book in a time to visit or complete a virtual call.
With your consent your child will be met as part of the visit. Visits can be completed late in the afternoon to fit around your child’s education and your work commitments.
The information gathered during the visit will be recorded in a form which looks like this:
The form will be written up within 10 days of the visit and sent to the Manager to sign off.
Any signposting or referrals will then be made and a completed form will be sent to yourselves and the SEN Team completing the Social Care element of the EHC Needs Assessment. The L-SPA (Learners Single Pint of Access) will have already told the SEN Team that they agreed to assess.
The SEN Team will also receive the social care advice which reflects the information recorded in the above form and you will see this in sections D, H1 and H2 of the finalised EHCP. The electronic recording system called EYES which is used by both social care and education will also be updated.
What if I don’t want a Social Care Assessment?
It is your choice whether you have the Social Care Needs Assessment. There is no obligation and not having one will not affect the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment or even the decision to issue an EHCP.
The Assessment is offered to assess whether your child has any Social Care needs and whether there is any support or advice or even any services the LA can offer which can be seen as a positive thing. Support, advice and information will be provided at the point you receive a copy of the SCN Assessment. If the SCN Assessment team feel that you would benefit from a referral to another service they will call you to discuss this with you, answer any questions and obtain your consent to make the referral.
What is involved in the Assessment?
During an EHC Needs Assessment the Local Authority must seek advice and information from social care. If this is not done this could lead to inaccurate or inadequate sections of the EHCP which are blank or say “not known to the service” or “no social care needs” when this is not the case. This is the reason why you are being offered a Social Needs Assessment.
The Assessment is short assessment and mainly completed during one visit to your home.
As you can see from the form above, it will look at:
- Physical and mental health
- Education and interests
- Emotional and behavioural development
- Role of extended family and friends
- Housing, income and employment.
The aim is to identify any Social Care Needs and offer help, advice, guidance, referrals to services or agencies that can support.
If there is any advice given you will see this is Section D, H1 and or H2 of the EHCP when it is in DRAFT Form.
What if the LA say no to assess but the LA then concede (agree to assess)?
The Tribunal Team will let the team know above and the same process will take place.