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Getting social care support

If you live in Middlesbrough and think you, or someone you know, may need our support, you should contact us. You can phone or visit in person, or ask a relative, friend or neighbour to do it for you. Someone like your doctor, district nurse or another professional may refer you.

We'll work with you to find out what your needs are and the best way to meet them.

The information we've provided on this page is just a summary of the care assessment process. Full details can be found in the 'how do I get the support I need?' leaflet.

To make sure you get the right support, we need a proper assessment of your needs and circumstances.

When you contact us, the people you'll speak to are called the First Contact Team.

When you speak to the First Contact Team, they'll do an initial assessment to decide how urgent your situation is. We may ask you, your family, or your doctor for more information which we use to help us decide how quickly you need a more in-depth assessment.

We can deal with a large number of initial enquiries very quickly, and we can give help and advice over the phone and by letter.

If we think you need a more detailed assessment, we'll pass your information on to a social worker. The social worker will contact you within 10 working days to arrange a full assessment of your needs. The document that a social worker will complete with you during the assessment is called the Care Needs Record.

The time it takes to carry out your assessment will depend on how urgent your situation is. We work this out from the information you give when you first contact us. We aim to complete the assessment section of the Care Needs Record within 28 days, and we'll let you know if there are any delays.

The assessment is used to identify your level of need. The answers you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The assessment can be done in your home or in hospital to help you to plan for your return home.

The social worker who supports you will have been trained to ask questions thoughtfully, and be aware that you may need to discuss delicate or upsetting issues.

The assessment will include topics like:

  • your view of what you need and what's important to you in life
  • what support you need to make decisions in your life, like where you live, and getting support with your finances
  • the tasks you need help with, like getting up in the morning, washing and dressing, shopping or doing housework
  • eating and drinking - what help you need to prepare and eat meals
  • getting out and about - the support you need to go out on your own, like using the bus or other public transport
  • your ability to pay for your care, and how much money you'll contribute

If we can't provide you with a service, we'll refer you to other organisations which may be able to help.

To apply for an assessment, please contact:

Social Services
Phone: 01642 726004
Email: socialservices@middlesbrough.gov.uk
In person:
Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House

As part of the assessment of your needs, we'll look at your finances.

We'll take your savings into account when we calculate how much you'll be charged for a service. This doesn't include the value of your home. We also won't take into account your earnings when assessing your ability to pay for a service.

Once we know what you need and we've looked at your financial situation, we'll work out your personal budget. This is the amount of money we think will cover the cost of your care. Depending on your finances, you may be asked to contribute to your personal budget.

You can manage the budget yourself, or have a family member, nominated person, or the council, manage it on your behalf. However the money is managed, we'll give you as much control over how it's spent as possible. This means you can choose the services that best meet your needs.

Personal budgets are only to be spent on your identified needs and will be reviewed within the first 8 weeks. The money you're given can be withdrawn if you don't keep to certain rules.

Further information on charging for services can be found in the 'charging policies for home care and other non-residential services' leaflet.

If you're in hospital, you can contact the hospital-based social work team. If you think you need an assessment of your needs before you're discharged, please speak to a staff member on the ward and they'll contact the hospital social work team on your behalf. Once this referral has been made you'll get the opportunity to speak to a social worker to discuss what can be done to ensure you return home safely. You can speak to a hospital social worker if there are any problems you'd like to discuss before you return home.