What do Together’s Care Act Advocates offer?
If you receive care services or care for someone who receives services you may have the right to an independent advocate. Our advocates can help you to understand information and processes and explore your options. Advocates can help you to speak up about the care you receive.
Who is the service for?
Under the Care Act (2014) individuals, no matter how complex their needs, must be supported to be involved in planning their support, and making decisions about their care. Where an individual has substantial difficulty in understanding this process, they have a legal right to the support of an independent advocate who will help them to express their wishes and feelings.
You may have the right to support from an advocate if you are:
- An adult who needs care and support
- A young person nearing transition to adult care and support
- A carer of an adult or of a young person in transition
- A young carer
How can we help?
Under the Care Act we can support and represent people in the following;
- a needs assessment under the Care Act,
- a carer’s assessment;
- the preparation of a care and support plan or support plan,
- a review of care and support plan or support plan,
- a child’s needs assessment,
- a child’s carer’s assessment,
- a young carer’s assessment,
- safeguarding procedures.
We can support people by:
- helping them to understand their rights and to express their views,
- assisting in the preparation for, or attending meetings concerning their support,
- helping them to be involved in planning their support, and making decisions about their care.
Accessing the service
Referrals for Care Act Advocacy must come via Adult Social Care or NHS practitioners. They must determine if a person has a ‘substantial difficulty’ in any of the following:
- understanding relevant information
- retaining information
- using or weighing up the information
- communicating their views, wishes and feelings
You can only access the service if you have a substantial difficulty, and there is no-one appropriate to support you.
Referrals should be made as soon as is clear that someone will have substantial difficulty being involved and that there is no appropriate individual identified to support them. Advocacy should be considered from the first point of contact, request or referral.
If a referral is not made immediately, perhaps because advocacy was not required at that time, a referral can be made at any stage in the care and support process.
If you think you need the support of an advocate you can call us to talk about it and find if you can be referred.