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One of the most recent forms of Advocacy to be introduced is Care Act Advocacy.

With the introduction of the Care Act in April 2015, Dudley MBC is expected to provide advocacy support for anyone living within the borough who has ‘Substantial Difficulty’ that prevents them from being involved in certain care and support processes and who do not have someone that can support their involvement.

This expectation applies equally to Carers of people living within the Borough, who may themselves have ‘Substantial Difficulty’ in being involved in the care and support of the person they care for.

The care and support processes that we provide advocacy support for are:

  • 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 safeguarding enquiry

  • a safeguarding adult review

  • an appeal against a local authority decision under Part 1 of the Care Act (subject to further consultation).

A person will be accessed as having ‘substantial difficulty’ if they are unable to be fully involved in one or more of the above processes due to difficulty in :

  • understanding relevant information

  • retaining that information

  • using or weighing that information as part of the process of being involved

  • communicating the individual’s views, wishes or feelings (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means)

In such cases Dudley MBC may make arrangements for an Independent, suitably experienced advocate to be appointed to support the individual as early as possible in the care and support process. The advocate will guide the person through to the point at which that process is complete.

Where an Independent Advocate is appointed, and it becomes clear to the Local Authority or the Advocate that there is someone who can act as an ‘Appropriate Individual’ for that person then the Advocate must, at that point, hand over to that person.

For those people who access advocacy under the Care Act and it becomes clear that the individual requires support from an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) then under the local arrangements the same advocate, depending on capacity, may continue to provide support under the IMCA arrangements.

Likewise, where it is established that clients, who are receiving support under IMCA, require support through Care Act Advocacy again the advocate may continue the relationship but under Care Act criteria.

By the Council contracting with the same provider for both Care Act and IMCA advocacy this removes the need for a person to tell their story to different advocates and organisations.

Provision under IMCA, IMHA and NHS Complaints Advocacy remains unaffected by the introduction of Care Act Advocacy.

Accessing Care Act Advocacy

There is no direct or self referral to our provider of Care Act advocacy. Referrals must be made either by the Access to Social Care team or member of DMBC’s Social Care Workforce.

Provider

Dudley MBC’s provider of Care Act Advocacy is Dudley Advocacy.

Please note that Dudley Advocacy cannot accept referrals directly from people or their carers. Referrals will only be accepted through the Local Authority Social Care Workforce or member of the Mental Health Trust.