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The Care Act 2014


The Care Act 2014 strengthens the rights of people with learning disabilities and their family carers. It promotes fairer, more personalised care – and shifts the focus of local authorities from providing services for specific groups, to supporting individuals to achieve the outcomes that matter to them.

What are the main points of the Care Act?


Wellbeing must always be considered and promoted

Local authorities must promote a person’s wellbeing when making any decision about that person. This means that the local authority must consider the impact of any decision they make on the individual’s wellbeing. This is the driving force behind the Care Act and it applies equally to family carers.

There is a new national framework to decide eligible needs

The Care Act introduced a national framework to determine whether a person has eligible needs, meaning that regardless of where you live in England – the same criteria is applied. We think that the criteria is more generous than it was before the Care Act (especially for family carers) and we encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with it before any Care Act assessment. See Assessments and the Care Act

Family Carers have new and strengthened rights

For the first time in law, family carers have the same rights to assessment and support as the people that they care for.

During a Carer’s Assessment the local authority must not make any assumptions about what a family carer is willing and able to do for their relative. Needs met by a family carer can only be considered after the eligible needs of their relative have been determined. The local authority does not have to meet needs that a carer is willing and able to meet, but it’s important to make sure that all eligible needs are identified during the assessment to protect against any potential breakdown in the caring relationship. If needs are already identified as eligible the local authority must take steps to meet them without further assessment.

A guide to the Care Act 2014 and other laws, for family carers of an adult with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The Care Act gives strengthened rights to Independent Advocacy            

People with care and support needs and family carers have a right to a Care Act Independent Advocate if they would otherwise find it too difficult to participate in Care Act processes, and have no appropriate person to support them. See Independent advocacy under the Care Act 2014

There is an emphasis on early intervention  

Local authorities have a legal duty to prevent, reduce and delay people’s needs from worsening. The aim is to have responsive local authorities that are able to support people at an early stage, to prevent and reduce the likelihood of people ending up in crisis situations.

Where can I find more information?