When decisions are being made about what kind of care and support you need to live as full a life as possible, it is really important that you are put at the centre of those decisions, as the expert in your own life. It might be difficult to be fully involved (substantial difficulty) if you have no-one who can support you.
The local authority must instruct an independent advocate under the Care Act, when they are preparing:
- An adult needs assessment (to see what care and support an adult might need);
- A carer’s assessment (to see if someone who provides care for someone else needs support);
- A child’s needs assessment (to see what support a child might need as they become an adult);
- A care and support plan for an adult, or a review of an existing care and support plan;
- A safeguarding enquiry, or a safeguarding adults review, if they believe someone is at risk of being abused and/or neglected.
The advocate will:
- find out the person’s wishes, thoughts and feelings;
- support the person to communicate their thoughts, wishes and feelings;
- support the person to take decisions and to challenge decisions made by the local authority, if they differ to the persons individual preferences.
Referrals are made by the local authority and in some instances, can be made by the individual or someone caring for them.