If you are looking for support and services from us, you will need to contact us about getting an assessment.
We can assess your needs at the same time as we assess the needs of the person you look after.
What happens in an assessment?
We will talk to you about the care that you are providing and the effect this is having on you, because we understand that caring for someone can be difficult and tiring.
By taking a step back from the day-to-day demands of caring, you will have a chance to think about your own needs and what you want. Together we will look for ways to give you the support you need to carry on caring, if that is what you want to do.
An assessment will take into account:
- the effect caring is having on you
- whether you feel you are able to continue caring.
Can I get a separate carer's assessment?
You can ask us for a separate carer’s assessment if you are providing substantial care or regular care. Providing this amount of care means your caring may affect:
- your health;
- your ability to look after your home;
- your ability to keep a job; or
- your social life.
You can also ask us for a separate carer’s assessment if the person you are looking after does not want an assessment, or you feel you cannot talk freely in front of them.
Can I have someone to support me in the assessment?
You can have a relative or a friend with you to support you in the assessment meeting.
During your assessment, your social care worker will ask for your permission to share the information you give them with other people.
But, if they think someone is at serious risk, they may have to tell other people such as the person’s social care worker. They will talk to you before they do this.
How long does it take?
We aim to carry out the carer’s assessment within 28 days of you asking for one. In an emergency, we will try to start the carer’s assessment and give help within 24 hours.
Do I have to pay?
Having a carer’s assessment is free.
You can ask us for a carer’s assessment by contacting the relevant team below.
If the person you care for is over 65 or under 65 with dementia, you should contact our Older People’s Access Service.
- Older People’s Access Service
- Learning Disability Services
- Physical Disability Service
- Visual Impairment Team
- Mental Health
If you are not sure which number to phone, please phone our Birmingham Carers Centre on 0121 675 8000.
If the person you care for or plan to care for goes into hospital, a hospital social worker will discuss with you what help you will need to care for them once they come home.
In an emergency
In an emergency, for example if you cannot cope any longer, you should contact any of the teams above. They will make appropriate emergency arrangements to support you.
If you cannot care for someone because of an emergency and our office is closed, you can phone our Emergency Duty Teamon 0121 675 4806.
What happens next?
After the assessment, if we have assessed the person you care for as having ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’ needs, they will receive an individual budget.
An individual budget is money that you and the person you look after can use to buy support. The support you choose has to meet the needs of the person you care for, as well as your needs.
An individual budget allows the person you support to choose how and when they receive care.
We can also tell you about our other services which are available to everyone. These include giving you:
- contact details about other organisations that may be able to support you;
- information about health care;
- information about leisure activities; and
- information about our Carers Emergency Response Service (CERS).
For more information, please see our separate leaflet ‘An easy guide to individual budgets’ (AC495A). If you would like a copy of this leaflet, please phone us on 0121 464 3123.
If we agree that we are going to provide or arrange services using an individual budget, we will work with you to make a support plan. This plan will make sure you have time away from caring or will provide help so you can spend time with the person you care for, while someone else does the practical caring for you.
How will your Fairer Charging Policy affect me?
Since 1 April 2003, all councils have had to follow Government guidance about the way they charge people for services they get to help them carry on living in their home. This is known as ‘fairer charging’.
We have a separate leaflet called ‘Fairer Charging (AC9I)’ that explains more about fairer charging.
An easy guide to individual budgets