SCIE has published a video covering the Introduction of the Care Act 2014.
This is the most significant piece of legislation since the establishment of the welfare state, building on the patchwork of legislation since the 1948 National Assistance Act.
It all begins with a focus on promoting individual wellbeing, shifting away from simply providing services to meeting eligible needs of those who qualify for care and support. Therefore, it’s important to understand that everyone is unique, and local authorities have a responsibility to put each person at the centre of their offer. They need to consider a wide range of care and support options to meet those needs.
The Act also encourages investment in preventative services and making use of existing community resources, facilities and assets to delay or prevent needs for care and support. Carers are also given entitlements under this Act, making it easier for them to maintain their caring role for longer.
Local authorities have a duty to provide an information and advice service to everyone in the area, not just those with eligible needs. This service should cover rights and entitlements under the Act, how to access them in the local area, and give financial advice. They must also facilitate a diverse, vibrant and sustainable market for care and support services.
The Care Act requires local authorities to promote integration and cooperation with NHS and other partners, as well as establish local health and wellbeing boards. It also puts people at the centre of their care by making sure they are involved in any decision-making process. If someone finds it hard to take part in social care processes, an independent advocate should support them.
Needs or carers assessments must be carried out if there’s a need for care, and the eligibility criteria must be seen through to determine whether they have eligible needs. Those who have eligible needs should then be offered care and support plans and a personal budget to keep them involved.
Finally, adult safeguarding is spelt out in law in this Act. Local authorities have a duty to make enquiries if they believe someone is at risk of being abused or neglected, as well as establish safeguarding adults boards. This board will also carry out reviews if people die because of neglect or abuse.
Now that you’ve learnt about the Care Act 2014, we hope you’ll feel more confident in understanding its importance in the sector and your role in it.