Your guide to care and support

Care and support plans

If you're assessed by social services and are found to be eligible for support, the next stage is to draw up a care and support plan – or, in the case of a carer with eligible needs, a support plan.

What is a care plan?

A care plan (sometimes called a care and support plan, or support plan if you're a carer) sets out how your care and support needs will be met.

You should be fully involved in the preparation of your care plan, and you and anyone else you request should also get a written copy.

The care plan must set out:

  • the needs identified by the assessment
  • whether, and to what extent, the needs meet the eligibility criteria
  • the needs the authority is going to meet, and how it intends to do so
  • for a person needing care, how care and support could be relevant to the desired outcomes
  • for a carer, the outcomes the carer wishes to achieve, and their wishes around providing care, work, education and recreation where support could be relevant
  • the personal budget
  • information and advice on what can be done to reduce the needs in question, and to prevent or delay the development of needs in the future
  • any needs that are to be met through a direct payment, and the amount and frequency of the payments

Your care plan should be individual to you, and you should be allowed to have as much involvement in the development of your plan as you wish.

Care and support should help you to:

  • live independently 
  • have as much control over your life as possible 
  • participate in society on an equal level, with access to employment and a family life 
  • have the best possible quality of life 
  • keep as much dignity and respect as possible

Remember that if there are different options that would meet your assessed needs equally well, the local authority can choose what it believes are the most cost-effective.

Reviews of your care plan

Your care plan should be reviewed by social services within the first 3 months, and then at least annually.

The review looks at whether the outcomes identified in the care plan are being met.

It should also review these goals to make sure they're still appropriate (for instance, that your care and support needs haven't changed) and check that any risk assessments are up-to-date.

If, after the review, it's clear that things have changed that affect the detail within the care plan, the local authority will conduct a revision of the plan. This may also involve a needs assessment and financial assessment.

If it's decided that you no longer qualify for local authority support, you should receive written reasons for this with information about other help available, including funding your own care.

Challenging your care plan

If you're not happy with a care plan, the services provided or the way an assessment was carried out, you'll need to use the local authority's complaints process.

It can sometimes be helpful to get support when you're making a complaint, such as help from an advocacy organisation.

Page last reviewed: 10/01/2018
Next review due: 10/01/2021