Adult Social Care explained


What Adult Social Care is

Adult Social Care supports people (and their carers) to stay independent and well so they can live the life they want.

What we do

We aim to help people stay independent by:

  • looking at what people can do rather than what they can't do
  • having conversations with people, rather than focusing on assessment questions from a script
  • understanding what is most important to the person, their concerns, what they have already tried and what might be the best next steps
  • working with people as experts in their own lives, listening carefully to 'what matters' to them rather than 'what's the matter' with them
  • being creative and helping people to build upon their strengths

To find out more about what Adult Social Care offers see, support for adults.

Who can get support

Adult Social Care can support:

  • any adult with a physical, learning or mental disability
  • any adult with a physical or mental illness
  • people who care for them

Types of care

Social care is often broken down into two categories of short-term and long-term care:

  • Short-term care is time limited and only until the person no longer needs it. This is to reduce or prevent need for ongoing support.
  • Long-term care is for those with ongoing needs based either in the community or accommodation such as a nursing home.

We look at what you can do for yourself, or with the help from others or in the community, before looking at what we may be able to help with.

Get in touch

Contact the Let's Talk Team

Please contact the Let's Talk team.

We will explore with you:

  • what you can do for yourself
  • what you can do with help from others or with help available in the community

We can then connect you to the right support to improve your wellbeing, independence and achieve the things that matter to you.

If you need more support

You may be referred for a needs assessment if:

  • you would like a further exploration of your needs, or
  • you have needs which cannot be met through support in the community

In South Tyneside, a needs assessment is known as a 'conversation'.

If you want the Council to pay for any support you may need (home care agency, residential care home or a nursing home), then you must have a conversation with us first.

We can do this over the phone, face to face or virtually, depending on what is best for you.

Who will be involved

You will have a conversation with an Adult Social Care professional, such as an Occupational Therapist or a Social Worker.

You may want a family member, friend, or another person to be involved.

We will also ask to talk to those who have been supporting you, or who are may support you in the future. We want to make sure that we understand why you need help with certain areas of your life, or why you are at risk.

We may need to discuss what you have told us with other professionals who know about your health conditions or disabilities (such as doctors or nurses). We will ask your permission before we do this.  

What we will talk to you about

We will discuss your views of your needs, how your needs affect your life, and how you would like this to change.

We will also suggest things you can do to help you stay independent. For example, changes to your routines, equipment to make daily living easier, or support to make sure you get help in an emergency.

If you don't want a conversation

A conversation can help you to think about other areas of your life and changes you would like to make, and connect you to things you might be interested in within your community.

If you just need advice or some equipment to help you manage independently, you can ask for information first.

If you decide not to have a conversation now, you can change your mind at any time.

What happens next

You will get a written record describing your needs and advice about how to manage them.

This will also explain if you are eligible for support, which can be arranged in a number of ways.

You may have to pay for support. How much you will pay will depend on your circumstances.

See paying for care.