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Who needs social care?

Which groups need social care?

Social care is for anyone who needs support to in their day to day life – this can be personal care, protection, social work or social support services.

Social care covers a wide range of people – from children and families, to the elderly, people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and individuals needing mental health support.

What percentage of social care funding is spent on the learning disability sector?

The National Audit Office estimates that 39% (£5 billion) of adult social care spend is spent on adults (aged 18-64) with a learning disability. (2014-15)

Who decides who receives social care?

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities follow national criteria to assess someone’s eligibility for social care. The introduction of the criteria sets a minimum threshold, creating a more consistent eligibility for social care between local authorities.

What assessments are done? How long does this process take?

Local councils will each have individual assessment processes; however, they all follow national criteria to choose who will receive social care.

There are three main points considered when making a decision:

  • If the individual has care and support needs as a result of a physical or mental condition
  • Whether, as a result of a person’s care and support needs, they are unable to do two or more of the following:
  • Manage their own diet
  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Go to the toilet
  • Be appropriately dressed
  • Able to make use of their home safely
  • Ensure their home is habitable
  • Develop and maintain relationships with family and friends
  • Access and take part in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Use facilities in the area e.g public transport
  • Carry out any caring responsibilities for a child
  • And whether, as a result, there is, or is likely to be a major impact on a person’s wellbeing.

Find out more about local government legislation.

Care assessment

If a person needs support in their day-to-day life, they can apply for a care assessment. This can also be done on someone’s behalf, providing they have given their permission. You can apply for a care assessment by getting in touch with the adult social services department of your local council.

The purpose of this assessment is to help find out the level of support someone needs, to ensure they receive the right type of support and enable them to live with as much independence as possible. A care assessment should be person-centred and involve the individual in every step of the process.

Following on from the assessment, a care plan will be created and agreed with the person – this will specify their needs and how they can best be supported. This will be followed by a means test to work out the amount someone will need to pay towards their care and support.

How exactly are people with learning disabilities supported?

People with learning disabilities can be supported in a variety of different ways – it all depends on the needs of the individual and what type of support best suits them. Support can range from a few hours a week to 24 hour care.

Support offered is more widely becoming person-centred across the sector, and aims to help individuals live with as much independence and choice as possible.

Types of support include: