Getting the right information and advice helps people, carers and families make informed choices about their care and support and how they fund it.
The Care Act says that the council must provide people with information and advice about care and support for adults and support for carers.
This quick read chapter provides key information about information and advice.
- What do we mean by ‘information’ and ‘advice’?
- What information/advice should be provided?
- Who should information/advice be provided to?
- How should information/advice be provided?
- When should information/advice be provided?
‘Information’ means giving people facts about care and support.
‘Advice’ means helping someone to make choices and giving an opinion or recommendation about what to do about care and support.
These terms are taken from the Care Act.
The council must provide information and advice on:
- how their care and support system works;
- the different of types of care and support they offer,
- the different care providers available in the local area and how to contact them;
- how to get independent advice about the costs of getting care and support;
- how to raise concerns if they are worried about the safety or wellbeing of someone (known as safeguarding) – see Adult Safeguarding).
Other types of information should include:
- health services;
- services that may help people be more independent in their homes, for example home improvement agencies, handyman or maintenance services;
- befriending services;
- aids and adaptations for the home or for the person;
- welfare benefits;
- employment support for disabled adults;
- children’s social care services;
- carers’ services and welfare benefits;
- advocacy services, for people who may need someone to represent them.
People, including carers, who are likely to need information and advice include:
- anyone who has needs for care and support now, or may have these in the future;
- people whose current care and support needs may increase;
- people who are already known to the council because they have already been in contact with adult social care services;
- family members and carers of adults with care and support needs;
- adults involved in the adult safeguarding process; and
- care and support staff who provide information and advice as part of their job.
Advice and information should be given to a person in a way that people understand, this could be:
- face to face;
- as part of a group in workshops / talks in the community;
- through advice and advocacy services;
- by telephone;
- through leaflets or posters (for example in GP surgeries);
- using ‘free’ media such as newspaper, local radio stations, social media;
- through the council’s website;
- by email.
It is also important to remember that some people may have particular needs such as:
- sight or hearing problems;
- people whose first language is not English;
- people who are not able to read very well;
- those who have difficulty getting out and about;
- people with learning disabilities or mental health problems which might make understanding some information difficult.
Information should be provided by staff at any point that an adult or their carer has contact with the council.
There may be times during someone’s life where they might need particular advice or information, not just from the council, such as:
- the death of a family member or close friend;
- being admitted to or discharged from hospital;
- being diagnosed with particular illnesses – such as dementia, or having a stroke for example;
- when thinking about their future, for example organising power of attorney;
- contact with the Court of Protection;
- welfare benefits;
- looking for work;
- contact with local support groups or charities;
- private care and support services, including home care;
- moving house or losing accommodation;
- contact with police or probation;
- being sentenced to or released from prison.