NQSW resource - Outcome statement 4: Assessment

Assessment: Key resources

Take some time now to explore our list of key resources and websites that may be of use in helping you think about professional development and accountability. These have been selected based on the criteria outlined in About this resource.

See also the full List of policy and legislation relevant to all outcome statements (PDF file).

These have been organised into:

Essential resourcesOpen

You can find further resources on this topic on SCIE's Social Care Online, where you can also sign-up for an Athens password to access a range of full text articles and books.

Click on the title to see more information.

SCIE resources

  • All in a day’s work: tricky situations (e-learning, 2007)Open

    All in a day’s work presents a series of tricky situations. For each situation you have to decide what action you would take. The case study on assessment offers the opportunity to explore a particular situation and various options. Your knowledge of law as it relates to each situation is also tested.

    Link: All in a day’s work: tricky situations

  • Assessing the mental health needs of older people: the assessment process (Guide, 2006)Open

    Assessing the mental health needs of older people requires the same skills as any other assessment, and is based on the same principles of a person-centred approach and the individual's right to high standards of assessment and services. People with mental health needs may be more vulnerable, more anxious and more confused, and may have a history of being dismissed as mentally ill. You can help by adopting the same approach as you would for anyone else, by being open, honest, respectful and empathetic. The Single Assessment Process (SAP) is the means by which health and social care organisations work together to ensure that assessment and subsequent care planning for older people are person-centred, effective and coordinated. This guide has evidence-based ideas from practice, including on the assessment of risk and collecting information.

    Link: Assessing the mental health needs of older people: the assessment process

  • Communication across cultural and social differences (e-learning, 2008)Open

    Culture, identity and personal beliefs have a profound impact on the content and process of communication. When people from different cultures, backgrounds or belief systems communicate, it is easy for misunderstandings to arise. This resource uses five case studies to provide examples of the kinds of challenges and dilemmas social workers experience as they communicate across social and cultural divides. This e-learning resource will further your understanding of:

    • the impact of identity, beliefs and culture on the process of communication
    • the importance of sensitivity to issues of culture, identity and belief in communication
    • the kinds of dilemmas that arise in communication across cultural and social divides.

    Link: Communication across cultural and social differences (2008)

  • Dementia gateway: difficult situations (Web resource, 2009)Open

    Working with people with dementia can be very rewarding, but situations can arise that are difficult for the person with dementia or those supporting them – or both parties. This provides information and training for dealing with a series of difficult situations as part of your planning and intervention.

    Link: Dementia gateway: difficult situations

  • Dignity in care (Guide, 2010)Open

    Treating people with dignity is an essential aspect of social work. The Dignity Challenge is a clear statement of what people can expect from a service that respects dignity. It is backed up by a series of 'dignity tests’ that can be used by providers, commissioners and people who use services to see how their local services are performing.

    Link: Dignity in care

  • Dignity in care network (Website, 2010)Open

    Numerous resources are now available through this website, ranging from toolkits to the Good Practice Framework. Staff at all levels from frontline workers to commissioners and performance managers can play their part in helping to ensure dignity in care services. Explore how you can become a Dignity Champion and find out 10 ways you can take action to promote dignity in care.

    Access the Dignity Good Practice Framework, audit your practice and share your work on line.

    Link: Dignity in care website

    Link: Dignity audit tools

  • Facts about FACS 2010: a guide to fair access to care services (Guide, 2010)Open

    This guide focuses on what practitioners need to do to ensure good practice:

    • Work in partnership with people and their carers at all stages of the assessment process and apply the principles of personalisation to maximise people’s control over their lives. Prioritise the outcomes they value, as well as recognise individuals’ and carers’ expert contribution to assessment.
    • Explore solutions that lie within the adult’s own network or through local community resources, and signpost or provide information and advice on support from universal services, other agencies and community resources.
    • Draw on the results of self-assessment to inform the assessment process.
    • Ensure that the scope of the assessment process is proportionate to the need and is fit for purpose.
    • Collect sufficient evidence to make a sound judgement about eligibility within the FACS bandings and criteria, agree outcomes, identify and manage risks and address any safeguarding issues.

    Link: Facts about FACS 2010: a guide to fair access to care services

  • Fair access to care services (e-learning, 2010)Open

    In addition to the Facts about FACS guide, these e-learning materials give you an opportunity to think more about assessment and the implications for practice. Areas covered include managing risk, eligibility criteria and signposting.

    Link: Fair access to care services (2010)

  • How sensitive to poverty and social exclusion are you in your daily practice? (e-learning, 2009)Open

    Despite poverty and social exclusion being common characteristics of families involved in the child protection system, there is evidence to suggest that professionals struggle to truly incorporate an understanding of the impact of poverty in their assessments and interventions.

    In practice, social workers and other professionals continue to have difficulty making sense of the complex interplay between poverty, social deprivation, parental capacity and children's development.

    This e-learning resource allows you to explore your own sensitivity to poverty with the help of six separate scenarios, each highlighting a different issue faced by families living in poverty. You can then match your responses to examples of how to deal with the situations in a sensitive manner.

    Link: How sensitive to poverty and social exclusion are you in your daily practice?

  • Implementing the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004: Assessment of carers - outcome-focused assessments (Guide, 2005)Open

    This guide provides evidence-based research and practice findings for providing a good standard service to carers.

    Link: Implementing the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004: Assessment of carers - outcome-focused assessments

  • Putting personalisation into practice: self-assessment (e-learning, 2010)Open

    This resource will guide you through the process of supporting individuals to direct their own support. A key change to the assessment process now means that individuals are more involved in assessing their own needs. A social worker will be allocated to the individual to begin the process of self-assessment. During this process, however, the individual can choose to complete their assessment alone or receive support from the social worker to identify their own needs. This information will help local authorities make a decision about the allocation of financial resources. If a person needs support they can choose a family member, friend or neighbour to help them.

    Link: Putting personalisation into practice: self-assessment

  • Services for older people with mental health problems (e-learning, 2007)Open

    This e-learning resource aims to:

    • provide an outline of the key services for older people with mental health problems and their family carers
    • introduce the types of needs met by mainstream and specialist services
    • introduce a number of issues linked to service usage including assessment of need and payment issues.

    You will have an opportunity to learn about the principal services available for older people at the primary, mainstream, secondary/specialist and tertiary levels by travelling down a virtual ‘care pathway’. Along the way you will have the chance to test your knowledge of relevant statistics and will examine cross-cutting issues and assessment.

    Link: Services for older people with mental health problems

  • Social work intervention (e-learning, 2007)Open

    This is e-learning resource gives you an opportunity to work through a case study considering the different points for intervention - initial referral and screening, assessment and care planning, and review and assessment. You will be asked as the social worker to draw on legal knowledge to make recommendations to your supervisor on how social work intervention in this case should proceed. Social work practice frequently operates under time and resource pressures. To model that context here, your choices for consultation of people and/or data will be restricted.

    Link: Social work intervention

  • Working together to assess needs, strengths and risks (e-learning, 2009)Open

    This e-learning resource explores the process of planning and undertaking an assessment of needs, strengths and risks with the contribution of other professionals. A family case study is used to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of this process and to help you reflect on the skills involved in working with other professionals and with family members.

    Link: Working together to assess needs, strengths and risks

  • Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (Social care TV, 2010)Open

    This set of videos explores the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who are receiving services. Many LGBT people have experienced discrimination and stigma in their lifetime, and you will hear the experiences of people with a range of needs such as those with mental health problems, older people in residential care and people with physical and learning disabilities.

    Link: Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Other resources

  • A positive approach to risk requires person-centred thinking (Neill et al., 2009)Open

    This article discusses the question of risk in the lives of people who are supported by services. It responds to the way in which risk, as it has traditionally been approached by these services, imposes a barrier to social inclusion and to an interesting and productive life. It proposes an alternative person-centred risk process and argues that, by beginning with a focus on who the person is, their gifts and skills, and offering a positive vision of success, it is possible to avoid the implied aversion to any form of risk embedded in the traditional approaches and attitudes.

    Link: A positive approach to risk requires person-centred thinking

  • Assessing mental capacity (Mental Health Foundation)Open

    This website has been developed to help staff working in health and social care (including those in the private and voluntary sectors), as well as unpaid carers, to improve the way they assess mental capacity.

    Link:Assessing mental capacity

  • Getting it right: assessments for black and minority ethnic carers and service users (Munday, 2009)Open

    The aim of this multimedia learning resource is to provide a broad introduction to the issues affecting minority ethnic carers and service users with an emphasis on achieving cultural competence within individual practice.

    Link: Getting it right: assessments for black and minority ethnic carers and service users

  • Challenges and benefits in implementing shared inter-agency assessment across the UK: a literature review (Cameron and Miller, 2011)Open

    This review looks specifically at shared assessment and draws evidence from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Key challenges identified were: devising assessment documentation, engaging key stakeholders and identification of need and rationing. While the evidence regarding benefits was still relatively limited, some themes emerged such as managing risk; reducing duplication and increased co-ordination; improved standards, practice and recording; joint working/interagency communication; and patient communication and involvement. This information is useful to set the context for assessment and also supporting evidence for inter-agency working.

    Link: Challenges and benefits in implementing shared inter-agency assessment across the UK: a literature review

  • My money self-assessment (In Control, 2009)Open

    In Control have produced a series of fact sheets for people who use services. They provide useful information for people about personal budgets and self-directed support. This fact sheet explains self-assessment and resource allocation.

    Link: My money self-assessment (In Control, 2009)

  • Self-assessment of health and social care needs by older people (NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D Programme, 2007)Open

    This research summary presents the main findings of a review of self-assessment in health and social care, along with key messages for policy and practice.

    Link: Self-assessment of health and social care needs by older people

  • Single Assessment Process glossary of health, social care and information technology (incorporating long-term conditions) (NHS Care Records Service, 2010)Open

    The Single Assessment Process (SAP) requires agencies to agree a common terminology for assessment and other care processes. This glossary has been developed to explain some of the terms used by health and social care agencies when working with adults. The website provides links to other relevant websites and fact sheets and the Centre for Policy on Ageing SAP resource.

    Link: Single Assessment Process glossary of health, social care and information technology (incorporating long-term conditions) (NHS Care Records Service, 2010)

  • Social care workers story (Nottinghamshire Adult Social Care)Open

    Two social workers from Nottinghamshire share their perspective on self-directed support and personal budgets.

    Link: Social care workers story

  • Talking Mats help involve people with dementia and their carers in decision-making (Murphy, J. et al., 2010)Open

    Recent government guidance recommends that people with dementia are encouraged to express their views and be included in decisions about their care. This study reveals how ‘Talking Mats’, a low-tech communication tool, can help:

    • Family carers reported that Talking Mats made them feel 'listened to' by the person with dementia. They also felt that their relative could actually 'see' their point of view when using Talking Mats.
    • Talking Mats can help people negotiate day-to-day decisions.
    • Talking Mats also offer a way of recording joint views to inform later decisions made with members of the wider support community.

    Link: Talking Mats help involve people with dementia and their carers in decision-making

  • The self-assessment checklist for monitoring services for people with learning disability and challenging behaviour (Welsh Assembly Government, 2007)Open

    In order to support agencies to monitor and further develop services for people whose behaviour poses challenges, the Learning Disability Implementation Advisory Group (LDIAG) of the Welsh Assembly Government has produced a self-assessment checklist. This is a tool intended for use by commissioners and providers from health and social services to establish what is in place and working well for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour in local areas. Ideally, the self-assessment should be based on a process that involves key stakeholder services, users and carers. The checklist can be used as a first step towards service improvement and development and afterwards at regular intervals to track progress, celebrate achievements and maintain momentum towards better services and support for people with challenging behaviour.

    Link: The self-assessment checklist for monitoring services for people with learning disability and challenging behaviour

  • Improving the experience of care for adults using NHS mental health services: summary of NICE guidance (Kendall, T. et al., 2012)Open

    This article summarises the most recent recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on service users’ experience of adult mental health services. The NICE recommendations are based on systematic reviews of the best available evidence. These recommendations come from the first NICE guidance where the development group was jointly chaired by a service user and a healthcare professional. Key points from the guidance are summarised in the following areas: relationships, communication and information provision; avoiding stigma and promoting social inclusions; decisions, capacity and safeguarding; access to care; assessment; community care; assessment and referral in a crisis; hospital care; assessment and treatment under the Mental Health Act; and control, restraint, and compulsory treatment.

    Link: Improving the experience of care for adults using NHS mental health services: summary of NICE guidance

Useful websites