As of April 2015, all councils are legally required to meet a national minimum level of care and support needs and will use this and any further needs they decide to meet locally to assess what help they can give people.

Carers are now entitled to an assessment of their needs, whether or not the person they care for has eligible need. For the first time, if a carer has eligible needs of their own, they now have the right to support from Lambeth Social Care Services to help them carry on caring and look after their own wellbeing.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. What is the Care Act?

The Care Act marks the most significant reform in social care for over 60 years and simplifies legislation from over 30 Acts of Parliament into one modern law.

The Care Act relates mostly to adult carers – people over 18 who are caring for another adult. This is because young carers (aged under 18) and adults who care for disabled children can be assessed and supported under children’s law.

2. Young carers

The Care Act does not deal with assessment of people under the age of 18 who care for others. However, they can be supported under the law relating to children.

The Children and Families Act gives young carers (and parent carers) similar rights to an assessment as other carers will have under the Care Act.

3. Care and support

‘Care and support’ is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have.

It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.

Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations...

4. Your wellbeing

Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care.

The new national changes are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more in control of the help you receive. Any decisions about your care and support will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

If you receive care and support, or you support someone as a carer, you could benefit from the changes.

You could benefit from the changes if you:

  • receive care and support
  • support someone as a carer
  • are planning for future care and support

5. Prevention

Lambeth social care services will arrange services that will help prevent or delay the need for care and support.

People can therefore stay independent for longer.

6. How to get information and advice

Lambeth social care services will continue to provide information and advice about care and support services to everyone in the local community.

This will include services offered by other organisations, such as charities and voluntary groups, as well as services offered by the council.

7. Advocacy

The Care Act says we must involve people in decisions about their care and support or in a Safeguarding Adults Enquiry or a Safeguarding Adults Review. In certain situations that means we must arrange for an independent advocate. The role of the independent advocate is to support and represent you and to facilitate your involvement

The Care Act says we have to arrange an independent advocate for you if :

  • you have significant difficulty with one or more of:

    Understanding relevant information
    Retaining that information
    Using or weighing that information or Communicating your views, wishes and feeling


  • if there is nobody appropriate, such as a family member or friend, available to support you

Some people are also entitled to independent advocates for other reasons. Some people are able to have:

  • an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) under the Mental Health Act 2007
  • an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA)

Where there is more than one role for an independent advocate, we will try to make arrangements where one advocate can cover as many of the relevant roles whenever possible.

8. Care planning and personalisation

The Care Act creates a new responsibility for councils to provide a care and support plan (or a support plan in the case of a carer).

It also provides people with a legal entitlement to a personal budget increasing transparency and giving people greater choice and control over how resources re used to meet their care needs.

Assessments and eligibility for care and support

What does eligible needs mean?

Eligible needs are, care and support needs that meet the national minimum eligibility threshold, for example,

  • help to wash and dress
  • get in and out of bed independently
  • keeping your home safe to live in

How can I find out if I have eligible needs?

For adults Care-support-needs-assessment
For carers Care-support-needs-assessment

Lambeth Adult Social Care services will work you and your family to assess your care and support needs.

Lambeth Adult Social Care services will decide whether you are at the level where help and support needs to be provided.

Typically, a person’s needs are likely to be classified as eligible if they are unable to complete a combination of basic everyday activities such as washing and dressing or getting in and out of bed by themselves.

People who feel they may have eligible needs should get in touch with their local authority to arrange an assessment.

What is a Care and Support Plan?

A care and support plan (or support plan, for carers) is an agreement between people that receive care and support and Lambeth Adult Social Care Services. It details how your care and support needs will be met.

The plan must set out what needs you have, the level of support you will be eligible for, and how your needs will be met.

It also includes a personal budget to help you and our family understand how much it will cost to meet your needs and how this money is being spent.

The person and anyone else you request will need to be involved in the preparation of the plan and agree with its content.

It will ultimately set out how you will continue to do the things that are important to you and your family with the right level of care and support.

9. Find out more about the Care Act

For more information about the Care Act visit GOV.UK

10. Our vision

Our vision is for families and carers in Lambeth to;

  • feel recognized
  • feel valued
  • be included as equal partners in the support and care for the person they care for.

Equally we want families and carers to have full, enjoyable and confident lives in their own right alongside their caring role”