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Care Act 2014

Section 4 – Providing information and advice

68.This section replaces and expands duties in section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, by requiring local authorities to provide an information and advice service in relation to care and support for adults, and support for carers.

69.The service will be available to all people in the local authority’s area regardless of whether they have needs for care and support, or whether any needs they do have meet the eligibility criteria. The information and advice service should, where it is reasonable, also cover care and support services that, while physically provided outside the authority’s area, are usually available to its local population.

70.Subsection (2) sets out the high-level requirements for an information and advice service. This includes an explanation of how care and support operates in the authority’s area, how to access it, what services and providers are available, how to access independent financial advice and how to raise concerns about the safety or well-being of a person with care needs. Subject to subsections (3) and (4) it will be for local authorities to determine the precise scope and manner of the information and advice they will offer.

71.Subsection (3) states that local authorities must have regard to the importance of identifying people who would be likely to benefit from financial advice. They must provide sufficient information and advice to enable adults to consider the financial aspects of meeting their care and support needs and to make plans for how they might meet any future needs for care and support. As part of this, the local authority must seek to ensure that people understand how and where to get financial information and advice on the range of financial options available. For example, the information and advice should cover what people are likely to pay towards their care and support needs, alert them to potential benefits and financial entitlements, other financial options to help them pay or plan for care and support, including deferred payment arrangements, and where they can access appropriate, independent financial advice on these matters. This supports subsection (2) and the need to include information on how to access independent financial advice.

72.Subsection (4) states that information and advice should be accessible to all and provided in a proportionate manner to meet individual circumstances and needs. For example, an information leaflet may be sufficient for some people, for others it may be face-to-face discussion and advice, while some may require more concentrated access to advocacy services.

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