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Care Act 2014

Section 59 – Child’s needs assessment: requirements, etc.

364.This section sets requirements about the assessment of children under section 59 including consideration of the outcomes the child wants to achieve, and whether the provision of care and support will contribute to meeting these outcomes. The section specifies that the assessment must involve the child, the child’s parents and any other person who the child or the child’s parent or carer wants to be involved.

365.The assessment must include an indication of whether the needs identified are likely to be eligible, advice and information about what can be done to meet any of the child’s needs and what can be done to prevent or delay the development of needs for care and support in the future. This information will normally be given to the child; or to their parents where the child lacks capacity to understand their options or express their wishes.

366.Once the young person becomes 18 the local authority must decide whether to treat this assessment as their needs assessment taking into account when the assessment was carried out and whether the young person’s circumstances have changed.

367.As with all assessments, a child’s needs assessment will need to consider whether other matters beyond the provision of services might help the child achieve their desired outcomes or prevent needs arising or increasing (similarly to section 9(6) of the Act).

368.The local authority may combine a needs assessment with any other assessment it is carrying out of the child or another person only if the individuals agree or, if a child to whom an assessment relates lacks capacity or is not competent to consent, the local authority is satisfied it is in the child’s best interests. If carrying out a needs assessment the local authority can also carry out another agency’s assessment of the child or that of another relevant person (provided all parties consent to this) on behalf of the other agency or jointly with the other agency. The provisions relating to this are in section 65.

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