Child's needs assessments for children with SEND

Child’s Needs Assessments help to prepare young people with a special educational need and/or a disability for any social care related needs after they turn 18.

They are valid until the young person is 25 years old.

The assessment will help to find out what adult social care a young person might be eligible for, so they can make better choices about their future. It should provide information about a young person’s needs, plans and aspirations for their future. 

Brighton & Hove City Council must carry out an assessment for anyone for whom there is likely to be a need for care and support.

How it works

The conversation about whether a young person needs a Child’s Needs Assessment should begin in the Year 9 review as part of the preparation for adulthood planning.

But parents, carers or young people can request a Child’s Needs Assessment at any time before the young person’s eighteenth (18th) birthday.

It doesn’t matter whether the young person has an Education, Health and Care plan.

What goes in a Child’s Needs Assessment

The assessment should provide information about a young person’s needs, plans and aspirations for their future. 

It should include short term and medium term outcomes. These can be discussed in conversation with the young person, their family, and a professional from adults’ services.

The assessment should include an estimate of a personal budget (funding) so that young people can better plan their future.

If the young person has an Education, Health and Care plan, the Child’s Needs Assessment will be based on a review of the care part of the Education, Health and Care plan. 

If the young person does not have an Education, Health and Care plan, but if they are supported by children’s social care, their existing assessment and plan should inform the Child’s Needs Assessment.

Deciding not to do a Child’s Needs Assessment

Sometimes we might decide not to carry out an assessment. Usually we decide not to for one of the following reasons:

  • there’s not likely to be a need for care and support after the young person has turned 18
  • the timing of the assessment will not significantly benefit the young person’s preparation for adulthood.  

If this happens, we must give you the reason in writing and include information and advice on what to do next. For example, we must advise you on what can be done to prevent or delay the young person developing the need for care and support.

If we decide not to carry out an assessment because the timing is not of significant benefit to the young person, we will advise you on a better time to do an assessment.

Additional helpful information

Be careful not to confuse needs assessments with Child’s Needs Assessment. A needs assessment is for children who are getting a diagnosis of a special need or disability.

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