Care Act Advocacy
What is the Care Act?
The Care Act is a law about the care and support of adults and carers. It brings lots of pieces of legislation into one new law.
The Care Act is the biggest change in Adult Social Care legislation for 60 years. It includes everyone.
The main purpose of the Care Act is to support people to get the outcomes that matter to them in their life.
It must focus on the needs and goals of the person and put them at the centre.
The Care Act says local authorities must make sure all adults in their area have access to information and advice on their care and support and to keep them safe from abuse and neglect.
The Care Act includes prisoners.
What does the Care Act do?
The Care Act applies equally to adults with care and support needs and their carers. In some cases, it applies to children and young carers. It also applies to young people over 16 who are in transition to adult services.
The person's well-being has to be at the centre of every decision that is made.
The Care Act looks at 9 areas of well-being.
The local authority needs to look at the parts of the person's well-being that are most important to them.
Personal dignity and treating the person with respect
Physical and mental health and emotional well-being
Protection from abuse and neglect
Control by the person of their everyday life. This includes how and where their support is provided.
Being involved in work, education, training and leisure
Social and economic well-being
Domestic, family and personal relationships
Living in a suitable place
Being involved in the community
We need to involve people in decisions that are made about them and their care and support and help people to express their wishes and feelings. People need to be supported to make choices and helped to make their own decisions.
Independent advocacy is about giving the person as much control as possible over their life. It helps them understand information, say what they want and what they need.
Not everyone is entitled to advocacy under the Care Act.
There are 2 conditions:
The person has substantial difficulty in being fully involved with their assessment, care and support planning and review or safeguarding
There is no one appropriate and available to support and represent their wishes
What does substantial difficulty mean?
Understanding relevant information
Using information to help them be involved in making decisions
Communicating their views, wishes and feelings
What does appropriate to support mean?
Supporting the person to be involved in their care and support. They cannot be employed by the local authority or paid to support the person in another role.
Some people may not have anyone suitable or the person may not want them to be involved.
There are times when an independent advocate should be provided for a person who has substantial difficultly even though they have an appropriate individual (family member, carer or friend) to support them. These are:
Where a placement is being considered in NHS-funded provision in either a hospital (for a period exceeding four weeks) or in a care home (for a period of eight weeks or more), and the local authority believes that it would be in the best interests of the individual to arrange an advocate.
Where there is a disagreement between the local authority and the appropriate person whose role it would be to facilitate the individual’s involvement, and the local authority and the appropriate person agree that the involvement of an independent advocate would be beneficial to the individual.
If the person meets these 2 conditions, the local authority must refer for an independent advocate.
What is the advocate's role?
Advocates get involved in:
A needs assessment
A carer's assessment
A transition assessment
The preparation of a care and support or support plan
A review of a care and support or support plan
A safeguarding enquiry
A safeguarding adult review
An appeal or complaint about a local authority decision
Advocates have the right to look at the person's health or social care records to support people with their:
How to make a referral for a Care Act Advocate
A social worker will usually make a referral for a Care Act Advocate.
If you are not the allocated social worker
In some cases, if you are a health worker, carer, family member or the individual and need to make a Care Act Advocacy referral you will need to follow these steps:
Individuals who have difficulties can call us direct and we can make a referral by calling us on 01384 456 877
Other agencies or family members can be sent a referral form upon request which can be forwarded to the commissioning department at Dudley Council will then process this to us.
If the person is not funded by Dudley or lives outside of the Dudley Borough
Dudley Advocacy are only able to support people currently funded by Dudley MBC or self-funding living in Dudley.
Anyone supported by another local authority will need to contact us regarding purchasing Advocacy support.
If the person is funded by another authority, they may not be able to be supported by Care Act Advocacy through Dudley Advocacy. If you are the social worker/professional allocated, you will need to check with your commissioning department which organisation supports with this.
Referrals must be made by Dudley Social Services.
To contact Dudley Social Services please call: 0300 555 0055.