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The Care Act
What is the Care Act?
The Care Act is a new piece of law which outlines how care and support should be provided in England. It came into effect from 1 April 2015 and replaced all existing adult social care legislation.
Wellbeing and health
The new law places emphasis on promoting the wellbeing of carers. Wellbeing can relate to:
- personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect);
- physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing;
- protection from abuse and neglect;
- control by the individual over day-to-day life (including over care and support);
- participation in work, education, training or recreation;
- social and economic wellbeing;
- domestic, family and personal relationships;
- suitability of living accommodation;
- the individual's contribution to society.
Changes to the way care and support are provided in England now mean that carers may be able to get support so that they can look after their own wellbeing while continuing their caring role.
Caring for someone can mean many different things such as providing support to a relative, partner, friend or neighbour, such as helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company.
To help determine a person’s support needs, an assessment must be carried out. A carer’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of the assessment, which could result in a carer receiving information about local support groups, practical support such as respite care, or a payment to spend on the things that make it easier to carry on caring.
Carers' grants have been replaced by a more comprehensive assessment of a carer’s needs. This may lead to a support plan, which could include a payment, to help a person maintain their wellbeing while continuing their caring role.
Information and advice for carers
All carers are entitled to information about ways they can maintain their wellbeing while continuing their caring role.