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Deciding the Outcome of a Contact or Referral (Family Connect)

1. Possible Outcomes

The following are just some of the possible outcomes:

  1. Recording of information only;
  2. The provision of Information and Advice;
  3. Signposting an equipment enquiry to My Choice;
  4. Referral to Telford and Wrekin Housing Trust for a Trusted Assessor assessment;
  5. Transfer of a call to a duty/allocated practitioner;
  6. Offering a booked appointment at a Locality Hub;
  7. Transfer of a written referral for an assessment;
  8. Taking a telephone referral for assessment or a prevention service;
  9. A combination of the above.

Case Examples

Example 1:
Greg has contacted the Local Authority because his mum is getting older and is finding some household chores more difficult than she used to. He doesn't know what help is available and is also worried about the future. The Local Authority provides Greg with contact details for various agencies that offer help with domestic chores and talk through the adult Care and Support assessment process with him. They also provide the details of a financial advice organisation so that Greg can find out what the financial implications of any future Care and Support needs may be for his mum.
Example 2:
Susan has been unwell lately and is lacking in confidence to do her weekly shopping. She has a computer and has been purchasing heavier items online but misses the social aspect of shopping and would like to be able to do a smaller shop in person. She has called the Local Authority for help. The Local Authority establishes that, while Susan has a large network of friends they all work and are not able to commit to supporting her with this. It is agreed that a referral will be made to the enablement service for a few weeks to support Susan to gain confidence to achieve her goal of carrying out a small shop each week.
Example 3:
Matilda has been recently diagnosed with a long term progressive illness. This has thus far affected her mobility but is likely to impact on other areas of her life over the coming months and years. Matilda has a good network of family support that is willing and able to continue supporting her with meeting most needs, although they are finding manual handling problematic. The Local Authority agrees for a social worker and an occupational therapist to complete a joint assessment of Matilda's needs. This approach will ensure that current manual handling needs are met, that strategies for preventing or delaying the development of other needs are agreed, that carers needs are understood and supported and that options for the future are discussed and explored at an early stage.

2. What must be Considered

Legal Requirements in all cases

The Care Act places certain duties on the Local Authority whenever it is making any decision about a person with Care and Support needs. These are things that you absolutely must consider and are:

  1. The impact on the person's individual wellbeing;
  2. Whether any prevention service can be provided that will delay, reduce or prevent the need for Care and Support;
  3. Whether information or advice can be provided to support the person to find their own solution, or to delay, reduce or prevent the need for Care and Support.

It is vital that you understand your duties in relation to the above. Please use the links below to access further information as required.

Click here to access information about the duty to promote individual wellbeing.

Click here to access information about the duty to prevent, reduce or delay needs.

Click here to access information about the duty to provide good information and advice.

Requests for an adult needs assessment

First answer the following questions:

  1. Is the person aged 18 or above?
  2. Does the person have an appearance of need?

If you answer 'Yes' to both questions then an adult needs assessment is appropriate and you should either:

  1. Pass the written referral onto the relevant duty team; or
  2. Take a telephone referral.

If the person does not have an appearance of need there is no duty under the Care Act to assess. If you deem this to be the case you should discuss this with your line manager or the duty worker at the relevant team.

If a decision is subsequently made not to process the referral an agreement must be made about who will notify the referrer in writing of:

  1. The reason the assessment has been refused;
  2. What can be done to prevent or reduce the development of needs for Care and Support in the future; and
  3. What to do if their needs change in the future.

Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapy service does not:

  1. Undertake manual handing assessments;
  2. Find hospital beds;
  3. Assess equipment needs to facilitate hospital discharge;
  4. Assess for walking aids and wheelchairs.

If any of the above applies the person should be supported to access the right health provision. If you need advice about where to signpost people contact the Duty OT.

Requests for a Carer's Assessment

Adult carers of adults

First answer the following questions:

  1. Is the cared for person aged 18 or above?
  2. Does the carer have an appearance of need for support (either now or in the future)?

If you answer 'Yes' to both questions then an adult carers assessment is appropriate and the referral should be transferred to the relevant duty team who will determine whether the assessment should be completed by a social work team or the Carer's Centre.

If the adult carer is providing support to a person under the age of 18 an adult carer's assessment is not appropriate.

Adult carers of children

Referrals should be passed to the relevant children's social work team.

Requests for an Enablement Service

It is important that enablement referrals are only taken when enablement is appropriate.

Enablement is a bespoke function to directly support people with a disability, who have a mental health issue or who are recovering from illness to:

  1. Learn the skills of daily living to enable them to live independently (or with as little support as possible);
  2. Re-learn lost skills of daily living (either fully or to a point where independence is increased as much as it can be);
  3. Learn to 'live well' with a condition and develop strategies to be as independent with daily living skills as possible for as long as possible;
  4. Build confidence across any other areas of life that are important to the person so as to increase their independence (for example building social skills).

Enablement is available to everyone whose needs can be prevented, reduced or delayed by the service. This includes people who lack capacity. However, because of the nature of the enablement support itself its effectiveness can be minimised when:

  1. The person is not open to being supported in an enabling way;
  2. The person's goal is not to become as independent as possible;
  3. The person is not able to "carry over" what they have learned from one day to the next.

Ordinary Residence

A person/carer is entitled to an assessment of need based on an appearance of need, and not whether they are ordinarily resident. As such there is no requirement to ascertain their ordinary residence status at the point of referral.

However, if it is clear that a person/carer is not ordinarily resident in Telford and Wrekin it may not be of benefit to them for Telford and Wrekin to carry out the assessment.

If the person appears to have urgent needs you should proceed to make the referral to the relevant duty team.

If the person does not appear to have urgent needs you should discuss this with your line manager or a duty worker at the relevant team before processing the referral.

3. A Strengths Based Approach

Wherever possible, every conversation with a person should be from a strengths perspective. This means that before you talk about service solutions to the presenting issue you must support the person to explore whether there is:

  1. Anything within their own power that they can do to help themselves; or
  2. Anything within the power of their family, friends or community that they can use to help themselves.

A strengths based approach is empowering for the person and gives them more control over their situation and how best to resolve any issues in the best way for them. The end result may still be that the Local Authority intervenes with an assessment or other support, but this decision will have been reached knowing that it is the most proportionate response available.

Adopting a strengths based approach involves:

  1. Taking a holistic view of the person or carers needs in the context of their wider support network;
  2. Helping the person to understand their strengths and capabilities within the context of their situation;
  3. Helping the person to understand and explore the support available to them in the community;
  4. Helping the person to understand and explore the support available to them through other networks or services (e.g. health);
  5. Exploring some of the less intrusive/intensive ways the Local Authority may be able to help (such as through prevention services or signposting.

SCIE have produced clear and practical guidance around how to use a strengths based approach in practice. It can be accessed here. Note: SCIE requires a login to access resources, but any social care practitioner can create one quickly and easily.

4. Clear and Unclear Outcomes

Clear Outcomes

If it is clear to you what further action is required, and you are authorised and confident to make this decision you should do so to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Unclear Outcomes

If it is not clear what further action is required or you are not authorised or confident to make this decision you should not commit to an action straight away. Instead, you should discuss options with your line manager or a duty worker at the relevant team.

If this occurs during a telephone contact you should explain to the person making the contact that you need to seek advice before deciding the best course of action.

  1. Assure the person that their views have been heard and will be considered in any decision that is made; and
  2. Agree with the person when they can expect to hear from you again.

Disputed Outcomes

If you are sure that the action being requested by the person making the contact or referral is not appropriate you should be open about this in a respectful way.

For example, a person may be asking to speak to a named practitioner but it is clear from records that they are no longer allocated. This should be explained to the person and an offer to speak to a relevant duty worker made.

If the person is not happy with the outcome you must make them aware of their right to complain about it.

5. Acting on Information about Risk

Information that a person may be at risk

If you have received information that indicates a person may be at risk of abuse or neglect you will need to consider the measures that you (or others) can take to protect them.

Where a safeguarding concern has not been raised already you should raise a concern without delay.

Click here to access the Adult Safeguarding Procedures, including how to recognise abuse and neglect, how to raise a concern, how to record safeguarding information or adult safeguarding.

Information that a person may be risky

If you have received information that indicates that a person may pose a risk to others you will need to consider the measures that you (or others) can take to reduce the risk and protect others.

6. Recording Outcomes and Decision Making

Recording of decision making should be clear and comprehensive yet proportionate. Anyone reading the recordings should be able to (as quickly and easily as possible) understand what has happened and why a particular decision has been made.

When available it is important to capture in recordings:

  1. The views of the person with Care and Support needs in regard to;
    • Their needs and what they would/would not like to happen;
    • The information and advice that has been given to them;
    • Any verbal consent given to gather information or consult with others; and
    • The possible outcomes that have been explored with them.
  2. The views of any carer in regard to;
    • The needs of the person;
    • Their needs and what they would/would not like to happen;
    • The information and advice that has been given to them;
    • Any verbal consent given to gather information or consult with others; and
    • The possible outcomes that have been explored with them.
  3. The details of and views of any other person or organisation consulted with as part of the decision making process;
  4. Details of any manager or peer supervision discussions that have influenced the outcome decision;
  5. Any actions agreed with anyone, including how any follow up will take place;
  6. Where there have been concerns about the person's mental capacity to consent to the contact or referral, to consent to consultation with others or to be part of the decision making; a record of how mental capacity has been assessed and how any best interest decisions have been made;
  7. How the outcome has been decided, particularly how regard has been shown for individual Wellbeing, and how the decision prevents, delays or reduces the needs for Care and Support;
  8. How the outcome has been communicated and how it was received; and
  9. How the situation will be monitored for changes.

Recording should take place as near to the time that the actual event being recorded took place.

Telford Adult Social Care Procedures