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Our approach

Find out what Adult and Community Services (ACS) is, what we do, how we work, and who we work with.

What is ACS?

ACS is a directorate within Suffolk County Council. You might know us as Adult Social Care Services.

What we do

In ACS, giving choice and control is at the heart of our planning, commissioning, and delivery of social care support in Suffolk.

We encourage people to live as independently as possible with access to support and activities from friends, family and their local community.

This approach is set out in the Care Act 2014 and is embedded in every aspect of our work and across our workforce.

Our ACS Local Account for 2021-22 describes the achievements, improvements and challenges in adult social care in Suffolk. An accessible copy of the ACS Local Account 2021-22 is also available.

How we work

We work within the Care Act 2014 national eligibility thresholds and the Supporting Lives, Connecting Communities local framework offering:

  • clear information and advice to help people make their own decisions
  • short term enablement support, including digital solutions 
  • a choice of support if people have eligible care needs, as defined in the Care Act. This may be short or long-term assistance, with the aim of regaining independence or maintaining a good quality of life. You may be charged for the cost of some or all your long-term care. 
  • safeguarding adults at risk of harm or abuse

We use the Signs of Safety and Wellbeing practice approach to give us the skills, knowledge and techniques to do this.

This means that whenever people contact ACS, we will:

  • listen to them
  • have conversations that clearly spell out a person’s risks and worries, and what their hopes and goals are
  • offer relevant information, advice and support to help them develop their own solutions, choices and decisions wherever possible

We put people and their families first by doing the right thing, in the right place, at the right time, with desired outcomes that promote their wellbeing.

Our model of work is in line with the Department of Health and Social Care strengths-based practice framework

We will:

  • ensure that people's requests and queries are responded to as quickly as possible and passed to the most appropriate ACS team to be resolved effectively
  • be honest about waiting times so that people can make informed choices about decisions they need to take to arrive at the solutions they want
  • explain (where appropriate) that waiting times can be affected by the need to respond to emergency situations where vulnerable people are at risk

You can read our commitment to keeping our assessments, interactions and services person-centred to each individual: 

Who we work with

We work with people in Suffolk to develop better outcomes in their lives and help them to live a good life, as independently as possible.

This includes:

  • adults (who have eligible care needs) of all ages
  • carers
  • young people moving into adulthood
  • people with physical and learning disabilities
  • people with sensory needs
  • people with autism
  • people with mental health conditions

We work in partnership with integrated teams to provide services, including:

  • health services
  • local councils
  • police
  • co-production groups and organisations
  • the independent, voluntary and private sectors
  • the Health and Wellbeing Board

We also work with colleagues in Suffolk County Council, such as Children and Young People's Services (CYP) and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).