The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 put Safeguarding Adults on a statutory footing. s42 Enquiry by local authority

This section applies where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there)
(a) Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
(b) Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
(c) As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

The local authority must make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to enable it to decide whether any action should be taken in the adult’s case (whether under this Part or otherwise) and, if so, what and by whom.

What does ‘needs for care and support’ mean?

If the adult has any physical or mental impairment or illness and as a result of this or related to this a need arises in two or more of the following domains and it would have significant impact on their wellbeing, then they have needs for care and support:

  • Managing and maintaining nutrition;
  • Maintaining personal hygiene;
  • Managing toilet needs;
  • Being appropriately clothed;
  • Being able to make use of the adult’s home safely;
  • Maintaining a habitable home environment;
  • Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships;
  • Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering;
  • Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities or services; and
  • Carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child.

It is a Care Act 2014 needs assessment that determine whether a person has care and support needs, however, if we reasonably believe that the person has care and support needs and we are concerned that they are being abused or neglected then we should consider making a referral to the Local Authority for consideration of s42 enquiry.

When we are dealing with a concern around any type of abuse and neglect it is essential that we consider whether the person has care and support needs, as this will inform our responsibilities and actions we need to take.