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Launch of Fair Access to Care Services

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Department of Social Care would like to announce that from 2 December 2013 all new referrals to Adult Services will be assessed under the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) Framework.

The adult social work teams in the Department of Social Care provide specialist support to three main client groups:

  •  Older people living in the community
  •  Older people within a hospital setting
  •  Adults under the age of 65 with a recognised disability

The FACS framework will consider four key factors to maintain an individual’s independence –

  •  All aspects of health, both mental and physical, plus any behavioral concerns which would pose a risk to the safety of the individual or those caring for them
  •  The ability an individual has to control their situation and choices about their life
  •  The ability to manage their personal care needs, domestic activities and to look after their own dependents
  •  The possibility of involvement in leisure and social activities, paid and unpaid work, learning and volunteering

Using this framework Social Work team staff will assess the level of impact faced by an individual, if the issues relating to independence are not addressed, and record them as critical, substantial, moderate or low.

The threshold for access to services provided by Adult Services is set at those with moderate need or above. Those considered to have a low need will be signposted to other services or be given advice and information.

The Minister for Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:

‘The Fair Access to Care Services Framework was developed to promote greater consistency, transparency and equity around the way we assess need for adult care services. The aims are in line with outcomes of the social policy debate, more specifically;

  •  Better targeting of scarce public funds towards those in greatest need
  •  Encourage greater self-sufficiency
  •  Seek alternative approaches to giving more assistance rather than financial support, and
  •  Create stricter controls’

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