About Care Act Advocacy
Care Act Advocacy supports people to be fully involved in decisions about their care and support.
We can help you to understand if you are entitled to it.
Care Act Advocacy is a new type of independent advocacy brought in by the Care Act 2014 and it is a statutory service.
The Care Act says your well-being is important and you should be supported to be involved in all decisions about your care and support.
The Care Act wants services to focus on providing care and support early to prevent or prolong the need for care and support in the future.
The Care Act tells services they have to listen to carers too.
You could be entitled to Care Act Advocacy if you find it difficult to access services and you feel you are not being listened to.
Care Act Advocacy is a free and confidential service.
Can I have the support of a Care Act Advocate?
You may be able to have the support of an advocate if you are:
- An adult who needs care and support
- A young person who needs care and support from adult services
- A carer of an adult who needs care and support
- A carer of a young person who is likely to have care and support needs when they are 18 years old
- A child or young carer of an adult with care and support needs
You are going to have:
- A care and support needs assessment
- A care and support plan or a review
- A carer’s assessment
- A child or young carer’s assessment
- A support plan or review
- Safeguarding enquiry or review
You find it very hard to:
- Understand information and what is happening
- Understand your rights and choices
- Decide what care and support you need
- Tell people what is important to you and what you want to happen
- You do not have any family or friends who are able to support you to be involved.
What can a Care Act Advocate do for me?
A Care Act Advocate can support you to:
- Understand your rights and choices
- Access other services that can help you
- Be involved in decisions about your care and support
- Understand how to raise concerns and complaints about care and support decisions
- Prepare and support you at meetings
- Be fully involved in your care planning and reviews
What rights does a Care Act Advocate have?
A Care Act Advocate is entitled to:
- Meet with you in private
- Access relevant records, including medical records, but only with your consent
- Discuss your case with professionals involved in your treatment, but only with your consent
How do I access the support from a Care Act Advocate in Cumbria?
You will need to be referred to our service by your local council by:
- Contacting your social worker or local Adult Social Care office
- Asking to be referred to Care Act Advocacy
You can find details of your local office below:
If you have tried to contact your social worker or local office and have had difficulty, please contact us directly and we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a person be entitled to Care Act advocacy if they have been deemed to lack capacity to make the decision themselves?
Yes, Care Act Advocacy is for anyone who has difficulty engaging in the process and they have no one else who is willing or able to support them to engage.
Care Act Advocates are trained in both instructed and non-instructed advocacy. Instructed advocacy is when a person can consent to advocacy and give instructions. Non- instructed advocacy is for people who can’t give instructions to advocates but it would be in their best interests to have an independent voice. In these cases, the Care Act advocate will work alongside the person to gather their feelings, wishes, values and beliefs and ensure they are fed into the decision making process.
Am I entitled to a Care Act Advocate if I have an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)?
Under the Mental Health Act 1983 certain people are entitled to the help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
Section 117 of the Mental Health Act places a duty on the NHS and local authorities to provide aftercare. This will usually involve a joint assessment including an assessment of the person’s care and support needs, a care and support or support plan and subsequent review (which may reach a decision that a person is no longer in need of aftercare).
Those people who do not retain a right to an IMHA, whose care and support needs are being assessed, planned or reviewed should be considered for an advocate under the Care Act, if they have substantial difficulty in being involved and if there is no appropriate person to support their involvement.
Am I entitled to a Care Act Advocate if I am in prison?
Yes, if you meet all the other criteria you can access an advocate in prison.
Am I entitled to a Care Act Advocate if I am eligible for an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)?
Yes, it is likely that if a person qualifies for an IMCA for a decision they may be eligible for Care Act Advocacy for other decisions. Care Act Advocates and IMCAs work closely together to ensure the person is accessing the most appropriate advocacy support.
Am I entitled to a Care Act Advocate if I live in Cumbria but my care and support is paid for by another local authority?
Yes you are entitled to a Care Act Advocate who is based in Cumbria.
Can a Care Act Advocate give me advice about my care and support?
No, a Care Act Advocate is not able to give you advice about care and support. Advocates are not able to give advice but they can support you to find out information you need by supporting you to ask questions and to ask for a second opinion.
What if I have had a needs assessment and I am not happy with the outcome?
If you have had an assessment and you are not happy, you can contact us to discuss your case. We can talk to you about why you are not happy and what options and choices you have. For example: you may feel that the process wasn’t followed correctly and you want to make a complaint. In this case, we can provide you with information on different complaint and appeals routes. We can also support you to raise your concerns and complaint.
What if I have asked for an assessment and I have been told I don’t meet the criteria?
If you have contacted your local adult social care office, asked for a needs assessment and been told that you cannot have one then this is against your rights under the Care Act.
Did you find your answer?
If you have a question and you did not find the answer in this section, please contact us and we will try our best to help you find the answer.