Legal resources directory

The legal resources directory is a practical resource designed to help you get the information you need about the law and rights, covering a range of topics.


When you are care for a child, young person or adult with severe learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges, it can be hard to understand your family’s rights or even know where to look for reliable information.

We have created this directory to help you get the information you need about the law and rights covering the following topics:

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Social care – adult and child

Carers’ rights



Mental health and sectioning

Mental capacity and best interest

Equality Act

Human rights

The resources on this page are external to the CBF; we are not responsible for their content.

The CBF also produces information about the topics above, which you can find in our information and guidance section.

However, we are not a charity specialising in legal issues so we have created this directory.

General resources

There are some general resources that cover a number of topics here:

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Accessing education for children and young people with severe learning disabilities

Social care – adult and child

Getting help and support from your local authority can be a confusing process.  Below there are resources that look at your family’s rights to help and support.

General guidance



Carers’ rights

Caring can be exhausting and accessing your own rights can be really hard.  The links below will help clarify what your rights are to all different types of help and support.

Family Law

If parents of children are informed by the local authority they intend to start care proceedings or asked to sign a voluntary agreement (Section 20), there is information about your rights and how to get support below.


The resources below are about the financial support that the person you care for and yourself as a carer may be entitled to.

General Government information

Direct payments

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Carers allowance


There are a number of issues you may come across regarding healthcare decisions.  The sections below look at the rights of your loved one and your rights as a carer.

Do Not Resuscitate orders (“DNRs”)

A DNR (sometimes called a “DNAR” or “DNACPR”) is a document signed by a doctor instructing medical teams not to attempt lifesaving resuscitation on a patient. There is a lot of guidance about how DNRs should be made and should only be used if the patient really wants one. These resources should help you navigate DNRs.

NHS complaints

Information about steps you can take to complain about NHS care and how that process works.

Mental Health Act and ‘sectioning’

Under the Mental Health Act 1983, a person can be detained in hospital (inpatient unit / Assessment and Treatment Unit) under a ‘section’ of the Act. The resources below will help you work out your rights, your relative’s rights and how the Mental Health Act and Sectioning process works.

National programme: Transforming Care

Also referred to as ‘Homes not hospitals’, this is the NHS England and social care plan to reduce the number of inappropriate admissions of people with learning disabilities and/or autism into mental health inpatient units or Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs).

Mental capacity and best interests

Families of people over the age of 16 who have severe learning disabilities should familiarise themselves with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which governs decision making for people who ‘lack capacity’ to decide and choices are made for them by others in their ‘best interest’.

Deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) operate where people are deprived of their liberty and they lack capacity to make decisions relating to their care and treatment.

Three letter templates: 1) to send to the manager of hospital/care home which is requesting that the DoLS authorisation, 2) to send to local authority if you haven’t received a satisfactory response to the first letter, 3) to send to the individual’s social worker where they are not in a hospital/care home:

Criminal justice

Navigating the criminal justice system is difficult but having access to useful resources should help you to explain the process and reduce potential problems.

Equality Act

The Equality Act 2010 ensures disabled people and people with other protected characteristics are protected from discrimination and receive equal access to services.

Human rights

Human rights should be upheld for all people by public bodies, including education, health and social care and other public sector organisations. These resources tell you about protecting yours and your relative’s human rights.

Please note that the CBF does not endorse or recommend these organisations and resources. We encourage you to check that they are suitable.

We’d be grateful for anyone to share with us resources on the law or rights that are helpful but not included in this directory.

Last updated: July 2021




Getting legal Deputyship for property or welfare decisions. Quick read guide with a complete information sheet available to download.



The CBF is constantly producing and sharing resources that may provide some useful information and tips to you and your families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal support

Legal support

Information page about how to get legal advice and/or a solicitor on behalf of a relative with a learning disability, and checking how you can fund legal advice.