Children and Families Act 2014
The Children and Families Act sets an important new legal framework of support from an early age right into adulthood. It creates a new comprehensive birth to 25 years Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and places a duty on statutory organisations to work together to align Education, Health and Social Care services. As a legal document, the plans are specific to the needs of the individual and aim to co-ordinate a multi-agency approach.
The changes focus on the following themes:
- Working towards clearly defined outcomes
- Engagement and participation of parents and young people (Co-production)
- Developing a Local Offer of support and Joint Commissioning
- Personalisation and Personal Budgets
- Coordinated assessments and EHC plans
SEND Code of Practice
Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.
This statutory code contains:
- details of legal requirements that organisations must follow without exception
- statutory guidance that organisations must follow by law unless there’s a good reason not to
It explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
This document replaces the ‘Special educational needs (SEN): code of practice’ 2001. The 2001 code still applies for those who have a SEN statement under part 4 of the Education Act 1996, rather than an education, health and care (EHC) plan under the Children and Families Act 2014.
Care Act 2014
Part 1 of The Care Act pulls together threads from over a dozen different Acts into a single, modern framework for care and support. It reforms how the law works, prioritising individual wellbeing for adults with care and support needs over the age of 18, with a particular focus on person-centred practice and outcomes, putting people in control of their care and support.
The assessment and eligibility process is one of the most important elements of the care and support system. The assessment is one of the key interactions between a Local Authority and an individual, whether that is an adult needing care or a Carer.
The Act says that if a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a “child’s carer”) is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the Local Authority must assess them if it considers there is “significant benefit” to the individual in doing so. This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services (Department of Health 2015).
It also gives Local Authorities a legal responsibility to cooperate, and to ensure that all the correct people work together to get Transition right. It makes clear that the Local Authority can combine any “Transition” assessments with any other assessment being carried out for some other person (provided all parties agree).
The Mental Capacity Act 2005
The right of young people to make a decision is subject to their capacity to do so as set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The underlying principle of the Act is to ensure that those who lack capacity are empowered to make as many decisions for themselves as possible, and that any decisions made or actions taken on their behalf are done so in their Best Interests. Decisions about Mental Capacity should be made on an individual basis, and may vary according to the nature of the decision (Department of Health 2015).
Click the following link to download the Mental Capacity Act: Code of Practice