It is true that social care support is in decline due to the Governments austerity cuts to Local Authorities, thus requiring Local Authorities to make savings. Some councils are reducing care packages in part to achieve these savings, but the Care Act provisions should ensure that all local authorities met all unmet needs as identified through an assessment of needs and the creation of a support plan.

Where a council is not undertaking to cover unmet needs people requiring care should be using the look again process, followed by making formal complaints and if necessary instructing solicitors to commence a Judicial Review, for which legal aid, if the criteria is met, is still available.

Where persons employ their own Personal Care Assistants through becoming an Individual Employer and funded by having a Personal Budget which is accommodated by receiving direct payments. By being an Individual Employer you will have to abide by all the various employment legislation and you will require to purchase your own liability cover. There are specialised insurance providers who cater for the care sector and as well as providing liability insurance, they can also provide 24 hour information and support on employment law, cover costs of tribunals, provide draft documentation for the various legal and employment aspects and others, so in effect you are purchasing your own HR department.

The costs of these packages should be part of the assessment of needs and be included in the support plan, as should any costs relating to recruitment, managing supervision, producing the support plan, if this is achieved out with of the local authority then also the costs of this. If the person requiring care does not have the ability conduct any of this by themselves or does not have the capacity and do not have any family members who can do this on their behalf, then they will be entitled to receive the services of an independent advocate and again any costs relating to this will be covered by the respective local authority.

Unfortunately all of this will require pressures on time and perseverance, which can be extremely stressful.

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Personal budgets were designed to give disabled people more independence. But the social care funding crisis is leaving families in the lurch

Source: The right to choose your own care is the latest casualty of council cuts | Frances Ryan | Society | The Guardian

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