Local Authority Child In Need Assessment

Local Authorities (LA) have a duty to provide certain services to disabled children who need support with daily living tasks. If your child doesn’t have complex health needs that meet the CCG’s threshold for providing a continuing care package, your child may be eligible for support via a Child in Need Assessment through your LA. Assessments consider what are called your child’s 'eligible needs' and, depending on what these are, may lead to practical assistance in the home, such as support with your child’s personal care, dressing or eating, as well as looking after your child overnight.  

You have to request a Needs Assessment from your Local Authority. If you’re not sure which LA you come under, type your postcode into the search bar here: www.gov.uk/find-local-council However, before you do make a request, it’s a good idea to have thought through how you support your child and what needs you and your child may have:

  • Keep a diary of your child’s care needs throughout the day and night for a week. Make sure to record details of the time all these tasks take you on your worst day. A blank diary template is available here.
  • Provide as much evidence of your child’s needs as you can – from doctors, other medical professionals etc.  SMA UK can provide letters of support.
  • Make sure to cover any safety issues that mean you or a carer must be present and watchful – e.g. if there is a risk your child may vomit when using BiPap and there is a danger of choking. 
  • It’s important to document any emotional or psychological challenges for you or your child as well as physical challenges. 
  • Think about, and record, how much you're prepared to do to support your child, remembering your needs to sleep, attend to other caring duties (other children, elderly relatives), work and have your own social and leisure time 

Once the LA has agreed to undertake a Needs Assessment for your child, an LA worker, with help from you, your family and other agencies will gather information for a single assessment. To help them understand your situation, they'll ask you about your child’s needs and your wishes. They'll also talk to you about your child’s needs in an educational setting. Your child’s medical team should provide information about your child’s condition. If though you would like more help with explaining the impact of your child’s SMA, or any other support preparing for or during your assessment, please don’t hesitate to contact SMA UK.

You'll find further information on Child in Need Assessments on your LA website (please see link above).

Page last reviewed / updated: February 2021
Next review due: February 2022