Independent Care Act Advocacy

A statutory requirement, to support people experiencing significant difficulties understanding and being involved in their; assessment, care plan, review or safeguarding enquiries.



What is the Care Act? from Skills for Care on Vimeo


The Care Act

What is the Care Act?
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Implemented on 1 April 2015, the Care Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess the level of support that a carer may need.

To do this, the local authority will conduct an assessment with the carer to determine whether the carer has needs that require support. Previously, carers did not have a legal right to receive support, however on occasion the local authority was able to offer support at their discretion.

Once a carer assessment has been completed with the local authority, they will then decide whether the carer is eligible for support from the local authority. The carer will be entitled to support if they meet the eligibility criteria and the person they care for lives in the local authority area.

There are some changes that have not yet been implemented. These changes were scheduled for April 2016, but have since been delayed by the government until April 2020.

How will the new Care Act affect you?
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If you are over 18 and receive care and support, or you care for someone yourself, you could benefit positively from the new Care Act. This could improve the care and support that you, or your loved ones will receive and is designed to help you plan for the future, giving you control over the help you receive.

Key changes from April 2015 
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• You will have the right to a free needs assessment from your council. Councils will also now use a new national eligibility criteria to determine whether you are eligible for help.
• If you receive social care support, you will have the right to request a personal budget if not already offered one.
• If you don’t qualify for help from the council, they must advise you how to pay for your own care.
• You can defer selling your home to pay your care fees until after your death.
• If paying for your own care, you can ask the council to arrange your services for you.
• If you’re a carer, you have the right to a care assessment from the local council.
• When discussing your care, if you find it difficult to communicate or to understand what is being discussed, the council must provide an advocate to help.
• The council must provide preventative services that could reduce or delay your need for care.

Key changes from April 2020
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• There will be a cap on how much you have to spend on care needs. Once the cost of your care reaches £72,000, the council will pay for all your eligible needs.
• The council can reassess your care needs, even if you pay for your own care.
• There will be changes to top-up fees in care homes, which will mean you may be able to pay them yourself.
• You will have the right to complain and appeal if you are unhappy with a decision.


Care and Support Advocacy

Providing advocacy under the Care Act 
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From 1st April 2015 people have the right to be more involved in the assessment of their care needs by local authorities, planning the support they require and how money will be spent on their care. This right is also extended to carers, for instance those who provide care to relatives or friends. The Care act also extends the right for eligible people to have independent advocacy to help them be actively involved in their care and support assessment, planning and review.

We will be able to:
• Support you to prepare for your care assessment, meetings or safeguarding enquiries.
• Help you to understand the care and support processes and options available to you.
• Make sure you feel able to give your views and wishes about your care and support needs.
• Work with you so that you are able to make your own decisions.
• Support you and represent you when appropriate, and to challenge decisions made if it is felt that your views have not been taken into account.

When can you get care and support advocacy? 
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Your care and support needs assessment
Your care and support planning
Your care and support reviews
And for any safeguarding processes (if someone thinks that you may be unsafe or at risk of harm)

What will an advocate do? 
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An advocate can support you to:
• Understand what is happening
• Understand your choices and make your own decisions
• Tell others what you want and about your views and feelings
• Make sure you get your rights
• Make sure that plans say what you need them to say

Decisions might have been made about you that you are not happy with. Your advocate can help you write a report about the things you don’t like. The advocate will write the report for you if you are not able to.

Who can get care and support advocacy? 
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You may be able to work with an advocate if you are:
• An adult who needs care and support
• A carer of an adult
• A carer of a young person who is about to start using adult services
• A young person who is about to start using adult services.

AND
You find it very hard to:
• Understand what is happening and the choices that you have
• Decide what care and support you need
• Tell people what you want

AND
• You do not have any friends or family available (or who feel able) to support you

Advocacy is available if you live at home, in a care home or hospital, or if you are in prison.

How to get care and support advocacy? 
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If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will need to be referred to our service by adult social services or other organisations employed by the council to make referrals.


Referrals to Trafford Advocacy Service (TAS)

TAS will accept referrals from anyone, including; health and social care practitioners, service providers, community organisations, housing associations, families, friends and people themselves. Advocacy referrals should be made on the initial form and sent to the Advocacy Hub at Trafford CIL, details below.

Referrals can be made by phone, email, post or online and support is available to help people make referrals in person or over the phone. Following a referral an advocate will be in touch to acknowledge its receipt and to get more information about the reasons behind it.

IMHA, IMCA and Care Act referrals can still be made via existing channels by practitioners.


Downloadable forms and resources

Care Act Guidance
The Care Act statutory guidance provides detailed guidance on all aspects of implementing the requirements contained in Part 1 of the Care Act (2014) to local authorities, the NHS, police and other partner organisations. This was updated in March 2016. Click here

Care Act Factsheets
These factsheets are produced by the Department of Health and provide an overview of the Care Act and the duties and powers of local authorities under the Act. Click here

Changes to Statutory Guidance
This link gives a brief summary of the changes that were made to the statutory guidance in March 2016. Click here

TAS Referral Form (word doc)
Advocacy Charter (pdf)
Waiting List Policy (pdf)
Non-disclosure Form for Translators (word doc)
TAS Easy Read (pdf)

(If you require these documents in any other accessible formats then please contact us)


Contact

For more information about advocacy please contact:
Advocacy Team
Telephone: 0161 850 0645
E-mail: advocacy@traffordcil.co.uk

TAS Hub will be open Monday to Friday 10:00 – 4:00 (answerphone out of hours), advocacy support can be provided flexibly beyond these hours depending on the needs of those involved.