The Care Act 2014 introduced statutory advocacy for people who need support to be part of decisions about their lives.
The Care Act says that if someone has substantial difficulty engaging in the process and has nobody appropriate to support them. then they should have an advocate.
Advocacy and the duty to involve
Local authorities must involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support. No matter how complex a person’s needs, local authorities are required to help people express their wishes and feelings, support them in weighing up their options, and assist them in making their own decisions.
When does the advocacy duty apply?
The advocacy duty will apply from the point of first contact with the local authority and at any subsequent stage of the assessment, planning, care review, safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adult review. If it appears to the authority that a person has care and support needs, then a judgement must be made as to whether that person has substantial difficulty in being involved and if there is an appropriate individual to support them. An independent advocate must be appointed to support and represent the person for the purpose of assisting their involvement if these two conditions are met and if the individual is required to take part in one or more of the following processes described in the Care Act:
a needs assessment
a carer’s assessment
the preparation of a care and support or support plan
a review of a care and support or support plan
a child’s needs assessment
a child’s carer’s assessment
a young carer’s assessment
a safeguarding enquiry
a safeguarding adult review
an appeal against a local authority decision under Part 1 of the Care Act