Social care

About this guide

In this guide you will find out about the legal duties that local authorities have at different stages of the care and support process. We also look at what you can do if things go wrong. We designed template letters you can use to challenge decisions about social care. Please note, this information is general guidance. You need to seek advice about your situation.

The social care process

When providing social care support the local authority has to follow the process of assessing your needs, deciding which needs are eligible for support, deciding how to meet your needs and developing your care and support plan, undertaking a financial assessment, and reviewing your support.

It is important to remember that the local authority has a duty to promote your wellbeing when making social care decisions. Those decisions include a wide range from deciding how when and where to do an assessment to decisions on how best to meet your needs. The Care Act 2014 requires the local authority to ensure you can take an active part in the process. They have to start with an assumption that you know your needs best. They have to respect your dignity and human rights.

Here is information about different stages of the process:

Assessment of your care and support needs

Making a decision if you are eligible for support

Financial assessment

Care and support planning

Personal budgets and direct payments