The Care Act (2014) provides a new legal framework for social care for adults (and children in some specific cases). Among the key provisions of the Act a new statutory provision for Independent Advocacy is outlined for those who are eligible.
Who needs a Care Act Advocate?
Under the Care Act Local Authorities have a responsibility to ensure independent advocacy provision where two conditions are met:
1) An individual has no appropriate person to help facilitate their involvement in the process
2) An individual would experience ‘substantial difficulty’ being involved without an independent advocate.
Who is an appropriate person?
The person must be deemed appropriate to represent and support for the purpose of facilitating the individual’s involvement.
An ‘appropriate person’ must not be a person providing care, support or treatment in a professional capacity, nor must they be paid
Where an individual lacks capacity or is not competent to consent the local authority must be satisfied that being represented by the person is in the individual’s best interest
The individual (having capacity and competency to consent) must agree to the person being involved
What is substantial difficulty?
The act says that the local authority must consider that, were an advocate not available, the person would experience substantial difficulty with one or more of the following:
Understanding the relevant information
Retaining the information
Using or weighing that information
Communicating views, wishes, feelings
Care Act advocates can appointed for:
Adults going though needs assessment, care and support planning or review
Adult carers going through assessment, support planning or review
Adults who are the subject of Safeguarding enquiry or review
When a child’s need assessment is being completed
When a child’s carer’s assessment is being completed
When a young carer’s assessment is being completed
What will a Care Act Advocate do?
Care Act Advocates will support the person to:
Understand the processes
Understand their rights
Communicate views, wishes and feelings
To find our more about our Care Act Advocacy service please contact us