On this page you can find a list of relevant policies and laws that may be useful

Please note that we are still in the process of updating this page; we will be adding further details to this as soon as we can


These are provided for information purposes and this page should not be used as constituting any legal advice. If you think you may need legal advice, please see our pages on legal support and legal resources.

Legal Support

Legal Resources Directory


Acts of Parliament

Some of the key Acts that are relevant for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, and their families, are:

  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Equality Act (2010)
  • Mental Health Act (1983)
  • Mental Capacity Act (2005)
  • Children and Families Act (2014)
  • Care Act (2014)
  • Health and Care Act (2022)
  • Autism Act (2009)

For more details on these Acts, please see the ‘Know Your Acts’ section of the Family Carer Advocacy Resource

Other Acts that may be useful are:


Proposed Acts

Mental Health Bill

Following the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, the government committed to reforming the Mental Health Act so that people with learning disabilities and autistic people could no longer be detained just for having a learning disability or being autistic, as well as tackling structural racism within the mental health system and strengthening the rights and choices of people who are detained.

In 2022, a Draft Mental Health Bill was published, informed by the Independent Review. The Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill, a group of MPs and peers, heard evidence from a range of people and organisations with expertise and lived experience, and produced a report which was published in January 2023.

You can read a joint submission by the CBF and Mencap to the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill here

The government had two months in which to respond to this report, after which they were expected to introduce an updated version of the Bill to Parliament – however, this deadline was missed and as of February 2024 the government’s response has not yet been published.

As the Mental Health Bill was not included in the November 2023 King’s Speech, the Bill is not expected to be reintroduced to Parliament before the next general election (which is expected to be held in late 2024, with the latest possible date in January 2025). However, it is expected that many of the parties will commit to reforming the Mental Health Act in their electoral manifestos.


National Care Service (Scotland) Bill

(Please note that this applies to Scotland only) In 2022, the Scottish Government introduced a Bill to the Scottish Parliament that proposes to transfer social care responsibilities from local authorities to a new National Care Service, similar to the National Health Service (NHS). This Bill is currently at Stage 2 of the Scottish Parliament’s process, with royal consent expected to be granted if and when it reaches Stage 3.


Proposed Restraint and Seclusion (Prevention in Schools) (Scotland) Bill

(Please note that this applies to Scotland only) In June 2023, Daniel Johnson MSP submitted a proposal for a Member’s Bill that would ensure that restraint and seclusion of children and young people was only used as a last resort where there is an immediate risk of harm, as well as to ensure that any methods of restraint/seclusion were appropriate. A consultation on this proposed Member’s Bill closed in September 2023 and we are awaiting further news on whether this Bill will progress.

For further information about restrictive practices/interventions such as restraint and seclusion, please see our page on ‘Restraint, Seclusion and Medication’


Government Strategies

Building the Right Support Action Plan

Following the publication of Building the Right Support – a document setting out plans to develop community support and stop people with a learning disability and autistic people from being inappropriately detained in inpatient settings – in 2015, people and organisations including the CBF lobbied the government to produce a formal action plan setting out how they would achieve the aims of the Building the Right Support programme. This led to the publication of the Building the Right Support Action Plan in 2022, which was published alongside a table of commitments setting out the specific actions being taken.


National Disability Strategy and Disability Action Plan

In 2021, the government published the National Disability Strategy. This was followed in 2024 by the Disability Action Plan. Please note that these are not specific to supporting children, young people and adults with a learning disability, although people with a learning disability do come under these strategies.


SEND and Alternative Provision Plan

In March 2023, following a consultation on a green paper, the government published their plan to improve the provision of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.


Adult Social Care Reform

In 2021 the government published a white paper, People at the Heart of Care, setting out aims to reform the adult social care system. This was followed in 2023 by Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care, a plan with details of what actions would be taken between 2023 and 2025.



The image used on this page is licensed under CC BY 2.0: Tony Moorey, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons