The Care Act 2014

This Act lays out what Adult Social Care services must and should provide under law.

Assessment and Eligibility

The Act sets out local authorities’ duties in relation to assessing people’s needs and their eligibility for publicly funded care and support. Local authorities must:

  • carry out an assessment of anyone who appears to require care and support, regardless of their likely eligibility for state-funded care
  • focus the assessment on the person’s needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes they want to achieve
  • involve the person in the assessment and, where appropriate, their carer or someone else they nominate
  • provide access to an independent advocate to support the person’s involvement in the assessment if required
  • consider other things besides care services that can contribute to the desired outcomes (e.g. preventive services, community support)
  • use the new national minimum threshold to judge eligibility for publicly funded care and support

Independent Advocacy

The Act aims to strengthen the voice of people who use services, and their carers, over the process of assessing, planning and safeguarding. Local authorities must arrange an independent advocate to facilitate the involvement of a person in their assessment, in the preparation of their care and support plan and in the review of their care plan, if two conditions are met:

  • the person has substantial difficulty in being fully involved in these processes
  • there is no one appropriate available to support and represent the person’s wishes

Safeguarding Adults

The Act sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect. Local authorities must:

  • lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens
  • make enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect
  • establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy
  • carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them
  • arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review, if required

Transition from childhood to adulthood

The Act says that if a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is ‘significant benefit’ to the individual in doing so. This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services.

Other Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance

Other Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance includes:

  • The duty to promote wellbeing and what this means
  • Preventing, reducing or delaying needs
  • Provision of information and advice
  • Market development: shaping and commissioning of adult care and support
  • Managing provider failure and other service interruptions
  • Person-centered care and outcome-based planning
  • Partnership working between agencies
  • Adult social care responsibility for adults in prisons
  • Arrangements for people who move between local authority


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Page last reviewed: 24/07/2018

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