Social Care 

This page will support your understanding about children and adult Social Care services available to you.

Children Social Care services and Adult Social Care services have a duty to assess and provide support to those in ‘need’.

The support is for children, adults and families.

Social care work in partnership with a range of services including health; education; housing; voluntary and independent organisations.

Social Care Explained 

Social care is a term that generally describes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support.

Some families will need practical support both inside the home and outside it. Local authorities have a legal responsibility to help families who met the criteria for their different services.

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:

If children and young people with SEN or disabilities are to achieve their ambitions and the best possible educational and other outcomes, including getting a job and living as independently as possible, local education, health and social care services should work together to ensure they get the right support. (1.22)

Child Social Care support from the Local Authority

Local authority have duties under the Children Act 1989 to support disabled children and their families. These include the duties to assess and arrange provision to support disabled children’s needs while they are under 18, and the needs of their carers.

If you child needs support, additional care or to access local services or help to access local services, you can ask your local authority to carry out a needs assessment.

You can also ask for your needs as a carer to be reviewed in a carer’s assessment.

And if the local authority agrees that services should be provided, you might be offered the option of personal budgets or direct payments.

To understand a little more on Child Social Care in Bexley and who to contact: click here

Adult Social Care support from the Local Authority

Up to 18 years of age, your child’s needs are assessed under the Children Act 1989.

The Care Act 2014 applies to disabled adults aged 18 or over and their carers.

The Act places a clear duty on the local authority to ‘promote the wellbeing of disabled adults and their carers’. The Care Act also includes new rights for families with a child who may need support to prepare for the transition to adult services, and young
carers. The Act makes clear that services arranged before a child’s 18th birthday to meet their assessed needs can continue after their 18th
birthday until adult services are in place.

If a child is likely to have needs when they turn 18, the local authority must carry out a ‘child’s needs assessment’ before then, to determine what these will be. The local authority will carry out the assessment if it considers it a ‘significant benefit’ to the child to do so.

These assessments will give you an idea of the help that you and your child can expect when they move into adult care and support.

After the assessment, the local authority should draw up a care and support plan; this may include a personal budget or direct payments to meet some of their needs.

The Care Act provides much greater rights for carers of adults aged 18 and over. For the first time, the needs of a disabled adult’s carer will be treated in the same way as the needs of the disabled adult themselves.

Carers can ask for an assessment if they ‘appear’ to have needs for support. This is a low threshold and will entitle most carers to an assessment.
The assessment will take into account the carer’s wellbeing, any outcomes they’d like to achieve, whether they are willing and able to care for the disabled adult, and whether they would like to access work, education or training.

To understand a little more on Adult Social Care in Bexley and who to contact: click here

Further information and support:

The Bexley Local Offer is the place to find information about Social Care Services and provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities, including:

  • childcare
  • leisure activities & short breaks
  • moving from child to adult services
  • living independently, and finding accommodation
  • help finding work

IPSEA: Social Care Explained

NHS: Social care and support guide – NHS (

CONTACT: Guide to Social Care Services and Support. 

Disability Rights UK: Your Guide to the Care Act 2014

If the Local Authority do not comply with their duties, find further information here:


IASS Making a complaint

IPSEA: Making a complaint about the Local Authority

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