Getting the best support package: Ten Top Tips

For family carers to ensure good support and services for adults (over the age of 18) with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging.




1. Get an assessment of needs- A disabled person has the right to a face to face assessment of needs with a member of social services. The assessment must clearly state the person’s needs and the disabled person (and in general his or her carer) must be given a copy of this.

2. Meeting ‘assessed’ needs- Your local authority will decide what level of need it will meet and fund under the local authority’s “eligibility criteria”. A persons assessed needs (that meet the criteria) must be met!

3. Get a Care Plan- A care plan sets out what support you should get, why, when, and details of who is meant to provide it. The care plan is used to check all the persons’ needs are being met.

4. Personal budgets- In a ‘personal budget’ the council tells the disabled person how much they are going to spend, to enable the person to have more choice and control over the support and services they receive. They should not be used as an excuse for making cuts.

5. Range and amount of support available- The law requires that a person’s assessed needs (that meet the criteria) have to be met, regardless of their cost. Council’s cannot deny access to a particular type of support or limit the amount of support that can be provided.

6. Allocation or funding panels- Many councils use panels as a way of rationing services. If this happens request a written response from the panel detailing how the council will meet the assessed needs.

7. Lack of appropriate services and support- Councils should develop local support services to meet people’s needs. Local authorities must adjust provision to meet your relative’s needs. 

8. Making a complaint- If you believe that the Council has acted unlawfully, you should make a formal complaint to try and get a positive result for you and your relative.

9. Identify some key allies- Caring be a hard and isolating experience and it may be helpful to find key allies who you can use for support. Many families find talking to other family carers a helpful source of support. If you’d like to get in touch with other families, the CBF’s email network and family linking scheme may be able to help.

10. Get more information and individual advice- It may be helpful to find out more or you may need to get individual advice on legal issues when needed. 


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