During the coming weeks, we know that some schools and colleges are closing or partially closing, which will affect EHC assessments, EHCP reviews and provision in school during this time. All of our advice for schools and parents about Coronavirus and its impact on SEND is available here.
Devon Information Advice and Support (DiAS) also offer information about coronavirus, school, education and SEND.
Help for parents and carers
The Care Act 2014 recognises the rights of carers.
- What support is there for parent carers?
You can use Pinpoint to find local support groups, these could be coffee mornings, school based groups or voluntary organisations. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01392 383000 and ask for ‘SEND Local Offer’. There are also lots of support groups advertised on Facebook.
CEDA BISNET runs courses for parent carers on subjects like Autism and Supporting a Teenager with Challenging or Aggressive Behaviour.
Care Direct gives information, advice and support to people who care for people over 18, including equipment and support in the home.
Carers UK is a national charity which can give information about your rights and entitlements as a carer.
Devon Information Advice & Support for SEND provides children and young people with SEND, and their parents and carers, with impartial, confidential and free information, advice and support that they may need in order to make informed decisions about their next steps or future options.
Devon Carers is an information and support service run by eight organisations working together to improve the quality of services for all carers in Devon. It can provide help and support for parents and carers.
The Preparing for Adulthood Toolkit can help you and your young person make plans for the transition into adulthood.
- How do I get a Carer's Assessment?
As a carer of someone over 18 years old, you have the right to an assessment of your needs.
As part of the young persons’ assessment within adult social care, the young person’s carer can have an assessment in their own right in relation to their care and responsibilities.
If you would like an assessment, you have two options.
1. You can ask to have a separate carers’ assessment, usually this is a Carer Health and Wellbeing Check. You can have this assessment even if the person you care for doesn’t have any care and support needs. The person you care for doesn’t have to agree to you having this check, or even need to know about it if this isn’t appropriate. A Carer Health and Wellbeing check will usually be done through Devon Carers or your GP practice.
2. If the person you care for has a care needs assessment you can choose to have an assessment of your needs at the same time. Your needs are looked at together in one process as a combined assessment. A combined assessment will usually be done through social care services.
All carer assessments will:
- give you a chance to talk about your health and wellbeing and the challenges of caring
- give you information about support and services, such as help to look after your own health while caring safely
- work out whether you have needs which are eligible for specific social care support
- give reassurance to you and the person you care for.
A Health and Wellbeing Check will also be an opportunity to pick up on any early signs of ill health and access treatment and support.
If the person you’re caring for has a care needs assessment the two separate assessments can be aligned as a joint assessment, if that is appropriate.
To ask for an assessment phone Devon Carers on 08456 434 435 or book online at www.devoncarers.org.uk/book-an-appointment
Carer Health and Wellbeing Checks are available from Devon Carers, some GP practices and some pharmacies. If you can’t leave the person you look after, it may be possible to arrange care for them while you have the check.
- What support is there for young carers and siblings?
As a young carer, the Care Act 2014 recognises you might need help and support in preparing for adulthood. As a young carer you will be offered an assessment of need in your own right in relation to your care and responsibilities. If you would like an assessment in your own right please contact Care Direct Plus – 0345 1551 007.
Devon Carers has a specialist team who work with young carers, addressing the needs of young people providing care and support to other family members, primarily a parent or a sibling. Young carers are put in a position of great responsibility at a very young age; dealing with situations that many adults would find a challenge. These children and young people have to cope in difficult circumstances, often not only looking after their relative but also helping to bring up siblings and run a household. If you are a young carer or you know someone who is, you can contact Devon Young Carers for help and support.
Sibs is the charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults.
- What financial support is available?
As a carer of someone over 18 you may be entitled to financial support in your own right. You might be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance.
The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment – daily living component.
- Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate.
- Attendance Allowance.
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension.
- Armed Forces Independence Payment.
You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if all of the following apply:
- you’re 16 or over
- you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
- you’re not in full-time education
- you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
- you earn no more than £110 a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension).
Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit usually stops on 31 August after your child turns 16 but can continue for children under 20 in approved education, training or registered with a careers service.
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:
- is under 16
- has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability
Personal Independence Payments
You may be able to get help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability. If your child or is aged over 16, you could be eligible to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Please visit the government’s website for a full list of criteria for Carers’ Allowance and information about how to apply.
Contact has produced a guide to Personal Independence Payments (September 2016).
- What is a CTR or CETR and what is the process?
CTR stands for Care and Treatment Review. It is a meeting to check that a person’s care and treatment is meeting their needs. It aims to answer these questions:
- Is the person safe?
- Are they getting good care now?
- What are their care plans for the future?
- Can care and treatment be provided in the community?
A CTR may be held for anyone with learning disabilities, autism or both who may be at risk of admission to, or who is already in, a specialist learning disability or mental health hospital.
There are now two versions of the Care and Treatment Review. One is for adults and is still known as a Care and Treatment Review (CTR). The other is for children and young people and is called a Care, Education and Treatment Review (CETR).
You can request a CETR and the care co-ordinator will identify the key concerns. A responsible commissioner would then ensure a CETR takes place, if appropriate.
- Mental Capacity
‘Mental capacity’ is the ability to make decisions. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 applies to everyone aged 16 or over.
What is meant by ‘capacity’?
Capacity refers to a person’s ability to make a particular decision at a particular time. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says that a person’s capacity to make a decision may fluctuate based on their wellbeing at a particular time. If there is doubt that a person has ‘capacity’ to make a particular decision at a particular time, a mental capacity assessment will be undertaken by either a health or social care practitioner, depending upon the nature of the decision.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out five key principles in determining whether someone has ‘capacity’ to make a decision or not:
- It should be assumed that everyone can make their own decisions unless it is proved otherwise. No one should assume that a person can’t make a decision because they have special educational needs or a disability.
- Do not treat people as incapable of making a decision unless all practical steps have been tried to help them. A person should have all the help and support possible to make and communicate their decision, before it is decided that they are unable to do so. If appropriate, this might mean delaying the decision.
- A person should not be treated as lacking capacity just because they make an ‘unwise decision.’ Disable people and those with special educational needs have the right to take risks if they understand the consequences of the decision; it is their decision to make.
- Actions or decision carried out on behalf of someone who lacks capacity must be in their ‘best interests.’ The Mental Capacity Act sets out a process to ensure that a decision made for people, who have been assessed as lacking capacity is made in their best interests. ‘Best interests’ means knowing about a person’s values, wishes, aspirations, and what you think they would choose if they did not lack ‘capacity.’ This includes decisions made by families as well as social workers and other health/care professionals.
- Actions or decisions made on behalf of someone who lacks ‘capacity’ should limit their rights as little as possible.
A good example might be if a person was in a coma and a decision needed to be made about their care or treatment. A person must be able to: understand/ retain/ weigh/ and communicate their decision.
Court of Protection, (court appointed) Deputyship
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’ – this means they can’t make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at other times. People may lack mental capacity because:
- they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
- they have dementia
- they have severe learning disabilities.
You can apply to be just one type of deputy or both. If you’re appointed, you’ll get a court order saying what you can and can’t do.
Gov.UK (2016) Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity
Updated 07/08/18 email@example.com
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