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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 identify what your needs are and the best way to meet them.

The information provided here is a summary. Full details of the care assessment process can be found in the how do I get the support I need? leaflet.

When you contact us, you'll initially speak to the First Contact Team.

The first step in making sure you receive the right support is arranging for us to properly assess your needs and circumstances. We'll make an initial assessment to decide the urgency of your situation. 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. At this point we may ask you, your family or your doctor for more information to help us decide how quickly you need a more in-depth assessment.

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

The time it takes to carry out your assessment will depend on the urgency of your situation. We work this out from the information you provide 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 about any delays.

The assessment is used to identify your level of need. Workers who support you have been trained to ask questions thoughtfully. They're aware that you may need to discuss delicate or upsetting issues, and 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.

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

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
In person:
Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House

As part of the assessment of your needs we'll look at your financial situation. We'll take your savings into account when we calculate your charge for a service. This does not 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're clear about your needs and have 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 financial circumstances, you may be asked to contribute to this.

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 choice and control as possible over how it's spent. 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. This money can be withdrawn if certain rules are not kept to.

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

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.