Support planning for arranging your social care

Once your care needs assessment is complete, you will need to think about how you want your needs to be met and how you will achieve the outcomes that are important to you. This will include:

  • thinking about and deciding who will support you
  • what services you will use
  • the support you have now and if this will continue
  • and how you will use your personal budget.

This process is called support planning.

You should be involved in support planning. It should reflect what is important to you and be ‘person-centred’ – about you – it is your plan.

The result of support planning will be a legal document agreed with you and signed off by the local authority. It details how all identified needs and outcomes will be met. This is called a care and support plan, or support plan for carers. You should get a copy of this. If you do not, ask for one.

Local authorities have different approaches to support planning. Options can include:

  • A social worker or other local authority worker works with you to develop your care and support plan or carer's plan.
  • You develop your own care and support plan or support plan for carers.
  • Independent support planners or support planners from third party organisations work with you to develop your care and support plan or support plan for carers.

Your assessment forms and care plan

Make sure you get a copy of the completed assessment forms and care plan. The local authority must give you one. These should give clear written details of:

  • The information considered in the assessment including the ‘outcomes’ that you want (the things you want to be able to do as a result of having support)
  • What needs they recognise you have and whether these are eligible for support
  • What your wishes are about using free support, for example from family, friends or charities
  • The needs of any family or other unpaid carers, for example if they need help to continue caring for you (and their wishes about how much support they want to provide)
  • What support you will get, with a clear explanation of how, in practical terms, it will meet your needs and lead to the outcomes you want
  • What support carers will get, and how this will lead to the outcomes they want
  • What needs are not eligible for support, and what is going to happen about these
  • Information and advice on what can be done to reduce your needs, and prevent or delay them developing in future
  • The amount of your personal budget, which is the cost of providing your support, whether it is by direct payments or as a service from a third party provider or from social services
  • Any financial contribution you have to make
  • If you are having a direct payment to arrange some or all of your own care, the needs to be met via the direct payment and the amount and frequency of the payments.

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