Adult social care is about supporting people achieve the life they want to live.

We promote independence and wellbeing through personalised care and support.


We help people identify their strengths and achieve their potential. We focus on the outcomes they want and support them to live independently and well within their communities. 

We provide support for people who: 

  • are frail 
  • have disabilities 
  • are neurodivergent 
  • have mental health conditions 
  • care for other adults
  • are vulnerable and at risk of abuse

We can: 

  • provide information and advice about care and support 
  • offer short-term help to promote independence - this is time limited and could delay or avoid a need for long-term support
  • offer longer-term support for people who have more complex and ongoing needs. This is delivered either in the community or in accommodation such as a nursing home

Social care can include personal care such as support for washing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning. It can include wider support to help people stay active and engaged in their communities. 

It’s also about helping to improve the lives of carers in Dorset. We want to ensure they have support in their caring role, while continuing to achieve their own goals and aspirations. 

We want to ensure everyone gets the right type of help at the right time and from the right place.

We discuss a person’s eligible needs early on an talk with them and/or their representative about what they are looking to achieve. 

The Care Act 2014 and our responsibilities

The Care Act 2014 outlines our local authority duties and responsibilities around social care and support for adults.

The Care Act factsheets provide the facts and key points of the act.

The Care Act 2014 is also available in an easy read format.

Eligible needs

Eligible needs are the needs identified by the Care Act. They should arise from a physical or mental impairment or illness.

Due to these needs, there should be a significant impact on the person’s wellbeing. This means they are unable to achieve two or more of the following outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • managing toilet needs
  • being appropriately clothed
  • safely using their home
  • keeping a habitable home environment
  • developing and maintaining personal relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education, or volunteering
  • using necessary community facilities (like public transport and recreational services)
  • carrying out caring responsibilities for a child

 A person is considered unable to achieve an outcome if:

  • they need help to achieve it
  • achieving it causes pain, distress, or anxiety
  • it endangers their health or safety, or others
  • it takes much longer than expected

How we support eligible needs

We will look at what support they currently have or think they need. We will also consider what is available within the person’s own network or community.  

This means we: 

  • consider the person to be the expert in their own life, and listen carefully to what matters to them 
  • look at what a person can do as much as what they can't do 
  • have conversations, rather than focusing on prescribed assessment questions 
  • understand what is most important to a person including: 
    • their concerns 
    • what solutions they have already tried 
    • what might be their best next steps 
  • are creative and help the person build on their strengths 

For carers, we look at how they can be supported to look after their own health and wellbeing. We want them to have a fulfilling life of their own alongside their caring commitments. 

What happens if you need support and get in touch with us

When you get in touch with us we will offer information, advice and guidance to help you.  

This may include: 

  • support you can find in your local community run by our partners in health and the voluntary sector
  • a referral to our Adult Access Team 
  • a referral to our health partners for support
  • a referral to our Adult Safeguarding Team if you have concerns for a vulnerable adult who is at risk of abuse


If we refer you to our Adult Access Team, they will help you decide what support might best meet your needs. This could include all, some or one of the following: 

  • information, advice and guidance which may come from your local community run by our volunteer partners 
  • Identifying equipment, technology and/or minor adaptations that would help you to remain independent. This could include organising delivery and installation 
  • arranging a period of short-term care
  • raising a safeguarding concern to our Adult Safeguarding Team to provide support to someone who may be experiencing some form of abuse, for example domestic, financial or physical abuse
  • carrying out an assessment 


There are 3 types of assessments: 

  1. Social care needs assessment: this considers your support needs. 
  2. Occupational therapy assessment: this examines your need for equipment or adaptations to your home. 
  3. Financial assessment: this is a means test that determines if you need to pay for none, some or all your care. This can be carried out once your support needs have been identified. 


In order to meet their needs, we carry out periodic reviews to people who are receiving support from us:

  • initial review – we usually do this 4 to 6 weeks after your support is put in place 
  • annual review – we aim to carry out a review once a year
  • a review upon request - if needs change at any time

Get in touch

If you can relate to any of the above you might need some support. Sometimes you may come to us direct, or a family member or health professional may refer you on your behalf. 

You can find more information about the services we offer at Care and support for adults.

Adult social care

Tel: 01305 221016
Full contact details