Adult social care

The Care Act


The Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015. It says that councils must involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support. It also sets out what happens when the council needs to take action because of concerns about someone’s safety. A concern about safety can be because the person might be experiencing physical or mental abuse, neglect, or because someone could be taking advantage of them financially.

The Care Act makes care and support more accessible and consistent across England. This means that people can get the care and support they need. This can come from either the council or other organisations in the community.

There are different ways to pay for care and support, and help is also available for people who give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend.

Changes introduced through the Care Act include:

  • a requirement for councils to meet a national minimum threshold for people's care and support needs. This makes the criteria for deciding who can receive help more consistent across the country.
  • support for carers to make it easier for carers to get direct help with caring
  • deferred payment agreements for care costs
  • a requirement on councils to provide a wide range of information and advice

The act gives councils the duty to arrange for an independent person, called an advocate, to support people who do not have anyone to represent their wishes. This might be somebody from an organisation that provides advocacy services. Read more about help to make decisions about your care and support.

Useful resources

The following leaflets give more information about adult social care services and the Care Act.