Read aloud or translate

Care Act advocacy

Support with decisions about care and support

Thank you for the support you’ve given him, you’ve enabled him to make his choice about what he wants. I look forward to working with you again.

Silvia, social worker, who referred a client for advocacy

Care Act advocates support people to understand their rights under the Care Act and to be fully involved in a local authority assessment, care review, care and support planning or safeguarding process.

When to refer

Make an advocacy referral when all three conditions apply:

  1. one of these processes is taking place: social care needs assessment, carers assessment, care planning, care review or S42 safeguarding investigation
  2. without support, the person will have substantial difficulty being involved
  3. there are no appropriate, able and willing family or friends to support the person’s active involvement


People who have an appropriate individual to support them are not usually eligible for Care Act advocacy support. 

However, there are two exceptions to this:

  • where the assessment or planning might result in a placement in NHS-funded provision; either in a hospital for more than 4 weeks, or in a care home for 8 weeks or more AND the local authority believes that arranging an advocate would be in the best interests of the person
  • where the local authority and the friend or family member disagree on something relating to the person, but agree that it would benefit the person for them to have an advocate

What is substantial difficulty’?

Substantial difficulty’ means that, without support, the person will find it very hard to do one or more of these:

  • understand relevant information
  • retain that information
  • use or weigh up that information
  • communicate their wishes and views

Who can be an appropriate individual?

An appropriate individual’ CANNOT be

  • someone already providing care or treatment to the person in a professional capacity or on a paid basis
  • someone the person does not want to support them
  • someone who is unlikely to be able to, or available to, adequately support the person’s involvement
  • someone implicated in an enquiry into abuse or neglect or who has been judged by a safeguarding adult review to have failed to prevent abuse or neglect

Someone can be an appropriate individual as long as none of the above apply.

Download the information on this page