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Ask for a care and support assessment | Sandwell Council

Ask for a care and support assessment

What is care and support? 

‘Care and support’ is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community. 

Care and support can also include receiving care in an alternative environment for a short period, for example in a residential or nursing placement (also known as respite).

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event. Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations. 

How to get an assessment 

You may be looking for information for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

Everyone is entitled to a care and support assessment. You do not have to pay for the assessment, however, you may have to pay for services offered afterwards.

We do a care and support assessment (self-directed assessment) to find out what support you need and how much help you can get from us and from other services that we work with.

If you are a carer there may be services to support you in your caring role. Ask us for your own carer's assessment.

Contact us

Email us at or call us on 0121 569 2266
We are open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 5pm on Fridays.

If you are in hospital, talk to staff on the ward. We have a team of health and social care staff who work together to make sure that the right care is in place for you so that you can be discharged safely from hospital. 

What happens next?

We will ask you some questions so we can find out more about your personal circumstances and the support you need. This could be over the phone or at a visit, depending on your situation.

We may be able to direct you to other services quickly without needing more details about your circumstances.

However, we may need to talk with other people involved with you to get a fuller picture of your situation. We will always ask for your permission first.

Can I have help from you?

As we have to use resources wisely, we need to make sure that we target help and support effectively and appropriately, for those who are eligible.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria and how we decide if you can have social care services.

If you are not eligible for help from adult social care, we can still refer you to some of our services. Most of these services are free. For example, equipment and adaptations, telecare, welfare rights advice and support services for people with sight or hearing loss. 

We will give you contact details for other services that you can choose from, pay for and arrange yourself. This could be things like privately run meals-on-wheels services, social groups and home care services.

You can look in our Information Point directory of care and community organisations to find services in Sandwell and then contact them yourself or ask a friend or relative to do so. You may have to pay for some services yourself but others may be free. 

We may be able to give you more help if your circumstances change. Contact us if this happens so we can look at your situation again.

I am eligible for care and support, what's the next step?

Support for a short time

If your situation is likely to change over the next few weeks, we will put services in place to help you until you can do as much as you can for yourself. For example, you may have had a fall or been in hospital for a while and need more help for a short time until you can manage for yourself.

Care that is provided for a short time until your condition stabilises is called intermediate care. This could be support at home from our STAR (Short Term Assessment and Reablement) service. Alternatively, it could be health services such as occupational therapy and help with confidence and mobility.

Support for longer

If your situation is not likely to change for some time, we will start to work with you to find out in much more detail how best to meet your needs and how much you will have to pay.

For most people, this means an assessment for a personal budget. A personal budget is the amount of money that we can pay you towards the cost of your care and support.

A personal budget gives you much more freedom to choose how your care and support needs are met. Find out more about personal budgets and how they work.

A personal budget is not appropriate in all cases, for example if you need residential or nursing home care. Instead, support planning staff will put together a package of support with you and organise the services you need. You may have to pay for these services, depending on your income and savings.

How much do I have to pay?

Intermediate care (short-term) services are free.

For longer term help, we have to work out exactly what care and support you need, and how much it might cost, before we can decide how much you will have to pay towards it. We will ask and assist you to complete a financial assessment form to enable us to work out how much, if anything, you can afford to pay. We will make every effort to tell you how much you will have to pay before care and support services start.

You may not have to pay anything, or you may have to pay for some or all of the services.

If you have to pay the full cost of your care you are called a 'self-funder'. Even though we can't help pay for your services, we can still advise you on services that might meet your needs and how to get them. If you have any problems with your care, please let us know.

If your personal or financial circumstances change, tell us and we can look at your case again.

Find out more about paying for care and support.

How long does it take?

We aim to:

  • start assessments within two days 
  • finish them within 28 days
  • have all services in place to support you within two months of your first contact with us.

In an emergency we aim to start the assessment and provide help within 48 hours.