The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014, which came into effect from 1st April 2015, represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, putting people and their carers in control of their care and support.

The Act combines various existing pieces of legislation which previously shaped how social care was arranged in Britain. The intention is that the Care Act will make it easier for the public to understand why things happen in a particular way.

Importantly the Care Act also changes many aspects of how support is arranged, including for carers, and aims to give greater control and influence to those in need of support. Among the most significant developments are:-

  • New rights for carers which put them on the same footing as the people they care for. All carers are be entitled to an assessment. If a carer is eligible for support for particular needs, they have a legal right to receive support for those needs, just like the people they care for
  • A new set of criteria that makes it clearer when local authorities across the country will have to provide support to people, and aims to ensure a fairer national system which reaches those most in need
  • A change to the way in which local authorities complete assessments with those in need of support- people in need of support will be encouraged to think about what outcomes they want to achieve in their lives – these outcomes can be anything, big or small, which will enable them to feel a greater sense of physical or emotional well-being
  • A greater emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable people in our society from abuse and neglect
  • A greater emphasis on prevention- local authorities and other providers of support will encourage and assist people to lead healthy lives which will reduce the chances of them needing more support in the future
  • A greater emphasis on local authorities providing clear information and advice which will help the public to make informed choices on their support arrangements, and enable them to stay in control of their lives
  • A greater emphasis on existing Personal Budgets which give people the power to spend allocated money on tailored care that suits their individual needs as part of their support plan
  • A greater emphasis on those most in need being given access to someone to speak up on their behalf when they are dealing with social care professionals
  • Greater regulation for those who provide professional care and support, and tougher penalties for those who do not provide care and support of a high enough standard

Useful Links

Carers UK – FAQ –

Carers Trust – Care Act –

Sheffield Carers Centre – Carers Needs Assessments –



Revised 03 January 2018