An assessment is where we look, with you, at your needs and what services you might need to meet those needs.


If we think you need an assessment we will give you an appointment with a member of social work staff.  If you want to you can bring a friend, relative or someone else to speak on your behalf at the appointment.


How can I be assessed?


When a social work service is asked for we call this a referral.  You can refer yourself or various people can make a referral for you by contacting us over the phone or by writing to us.


  • Self-referral – you can refer yourself to the social work service by getting in touch on the details provided
  • Relatives or carers can refer
  • Health professionals e.g. your G.P. can refer
  • The Department’s Service Partners can refer e.g. voluntary organisations
  • The court or court system can refer


Is there a charge?


There is no charge for the assessment.   

How long does the assessment take?


The time needed for an assessment depends on your needs and circumstances.  If your needs are complicated and we have to gather information from a number of people as well as from you, it may take more than one visit to complete your assessment.


Why must I be assessed?

We provide services to a wide range of people, including people suffering from dementia, older people, people with a disability, people affected by substance misuse, young people and children, people affected by blood borne viruses, as well as the family and friends who act as carers and look after all of these people.

We want to make sure that our services are made available to those of you in greatest need and at most risk, therefore, in order to be fair to everyone social workers follow our published eligibility criteria in determining priority (see eligibility criteria below).  We will try to meet your needs within the resources available to us. Once a request has been made for a service or for help, a specialist worker will talk to you to see if you qualify for a service.


Eligibility Criteria

What are eligibility criteria?
It is important that the council uses its resources to support those people whose needs most seriously affect their independence. Eligibility criteria are the rules that are used to make sure this happens.

Eligibility criteria for adult social care
The Government has issued the eligibility criteria framework to make sure that all adults over 16, who need social care support, have their needs dealt with fairly across the country. Fife Council must use the framework. The criteria is based on the way in which needs affect independence.

What affects a person’s independence?
A person’s independence is effected if their social care or health needs prevent them from achieving goals which are important in their life. These could include:
1. Being healthy, safe and well
2. Exercising choice and control
3. Personal dignity and respect
4. Making a positive contribution to family and community life


The eligibility criteria rules are divided into four bands.

Low, moderate, substantial, and critical.

The substantial, moderate and low bands describe the level of need required and how this affects a person’s independence.

The critical band describes situations when a person’s independence is most at risk. In these situations there are vital needs, which must be met, if a person is to live safely and independently.

The eligibility criteria only applies to social care needs and services. These services may include long term care, care at home, day care, respite care or equipment and adaptations.

Who will receive services?
We can offer advice and information to everyone but the Council has decided that at present we must focus our support on people who have critical or substantial needs.

For more information please go to the publication 'A Guide to Eligibility Criteria for Adults and Older People' below.

Social Work Enquiries
Tel: 03451 55 15 03 Contact Social Work Enquiries online

Emergency Out of Hours Social Work Services
Tel: 03451 550099
By Post: New City House 1 Edgar Street Dunfermline Fife KY12 7EP
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