ABENDSTERN Michele, et al
Prevention, comprising services that seek to delay deterioration of existing conditions and circumstances or prevent their occurrence by early access to support, is recognised as having an important role in adult social care. The gateway to social care services has traditionally been via needs-led assessments undertaken with professionals. In England, self-assessment, promoted as a means of accessing services more independently, has come to the fore in recent years. This article explores the relationship between prevention and self-assessment in practice. Data are derived from interviews with social services managers of five self-assessment projects situated within the adult social care sector that were described as providing a preventative approach, as well as project development documentation. A number of issues are highlighted including for whom self-assessment might be most optimal, the potential of self-assessment to widen access and the role it can play in promoting self-determination. It is argued that a natural relationship exists between self-assessment and prevention and that both concepts are at the core of the personalisation agenda. However, in order to achieve its potential in practice, self-assessment must be offered in conjunction with support and as an additional rather than alternative means of accessing preventative services.