This guideline covers the planning, delivery and review of social work interventions for adults who have complex needs. It promotes ways for social work professionals, other care staff and people with complex needs to work together to make decisions about care and support.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- principles of social work for adults with complex needs
- individual or family casework
- helping people to connect with local communities and reduce isolation
- supporting people to plan for the future, including considering changing needs, wishes and capabilities
- responding to an escalation of need, including urgent support
- social works and multidisciplinary teams: communication, support and collaboration
Who is it for?
- Social workers, their supervisors and managers, and the organisations they work for
- Healthcare, social care staff and allied health professionals who support people with complex needs
- Social work academics, educators and practice educators
- Adults with complex needs (including self-funders), their families or carers, and the public
It may also be relevant for:
- People aged 16 to 18 with complex needs who have completed the transition from children’s to adults’ services
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.