Care and Support Advocacy (Care Act)
Do you need help to be involved in decisions about your care needs? An advocate can help you be heard, understand your choices and make your own decisions.
Find out about how an advocate can help you, and who advocates can work with. This page also gives information about the role of an appropriate individual and provides additional resources from the Department of Health.
Changes brought in by the Care Act means that any decisions about your care will consider your well-being and what is important to you so that you can stay healthy and remain as independent as possible. To do this, it is important for you to be fully involved in decisions about your care and support needs.
When can you get care and support advocacy?
Advocacy will be available during:
|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?
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?
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.
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
- 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
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will need to be referred to our service by your local council – adult social services - or other organisations employed by the council to make referrals.
Are you looking for information for a friend or relative?
Some people find making decisions about health and care needs very difficult. The Care Act gives the right for eligible people to get an independent advocate to help them:
- understand the care and support process
- be actively involved in discussions and make their own decisions about their care and support needs
- challenge plans made if they do not take account of the person’s wishes or feelings.
Independent advocacy is available for people who do not have any friends or family (an appropriate individual) available to support and facilitate their active involvement in their own care and support process.
Who can be an Appropriate Individual?
Friends and family who are available (i.e. they live close enough to support the person on a regular basis) and feel able to support them to be fully involved with all of the social care processes.
People who are already providing paid-for care will not be able to support the person in this role.
Your local council will be able to talk to you about what friends and family members can do to support someone fully within their care and support process.
Can someone have an appropriate individual and an advocate?
In some cases, a person may be entitled to an independent advocate even if they have an appropriate individual who is supporting them. This is when:
- Someone has been placed in a hospital for over 4 weeks or a care home for over 8 weeks and the local council agrees that it would be in the person’s best interest to have an advocate
- There is a disagreement between the local council and the friend or relative who is support a person in their care process and both parties agree it would be beneficial for the person to get an advocate.
For more information, please download our information leaflets and poster below:
Care Act Resources - Department of Health
Please note that these factsheets are being updated following publication of revised Care Act Guidance on 18th March. We will update these links as soon as the new factsheets are published.
- General responsibilities
- Who is entitled to public care and support?
- Assessing needs and determining eligibility
- Personalising care and support planning
- Charging and financial assessments
- Reforming how people pay for their care and support
- Protecting adults from abuse or neglect
- Law for carers
- Continuity of care when moving between areas
- Market oversight
- Children in Transition
- Prisoners and people resident in approved premises
- Appeals Policy proposals