Independent Care Act Advocacy

Making sure people have their say in their care and support

How it works

The Local Authority has a duty to consider instructing an ICAA when there is:

  • an adult needs assessment

  • a carer’s assessment

  • preparation of a care and support plan or support plan for adults

  • a review of an adult’s care and support plan

  • a review of a carer’s support plan

  • a child’s needs assessment under transition to adult care/support

  • a child’s carer’s assessment under transition to adult care/support

  • a young carer’s assessment

  • a safeguarding enquiry

  • a safeguarding adults review

An ICAA must be instructed if the person meets the following eligibility criteria:

The person has substantial difficulty in engaging with the local authority care and support processes

The person must have substantial difficulty in one or more of: 

  • understanding relevant information;

  • retaining the information;

  • using or weighing up the information;

  • communicating their views, wishes and feelings.


There is no-one appropriate to facilitate involvement

For example, where the family live too far away and/or there are no regular visitors who could help the person be involved, or it could be that the people in the person’s life do not have the time, do not understand the process or simply do not want the responsibility.


The person’s wishes must be respected. If they don’t want to be supported by a certain person, then the local authority cannot consider that person to be appropriate. Paid staff are NOT allowed to support the individual in the process.

Even if a person has an appropriate individual to facilitate involvement in the process, they are still eligible for an advocate if:

  • A placement is being considered for an NHS funded stay in hospital (for a period exceeding 4 weeks) or a care home (for a period exceeding 8 weeks);

  • There is a disagreement between the Local Authority and the appropriate person, and it is agreed that the person would benefit from having an advocate.

An Independent Care Act Advocate:

  • ​Supports the person to understand and be fully involved in the process;

  • Helps the person understand their options and their rights;

  • Communicates the person's wishes, views and feelings;

  • Supports the person to take decisions and challenge those made by the local authority;

  • If appropriate, looks at relevant health and social care records;

  • Talks to those who can help, with permission, unless the person does not have capacity;

  • Consults the family and others if the person does not have capacity;

  • Supports and represents the person in the safeguarding process.

An Independent Care Act Advocate won't:

  • Make decisions, or best interest decisions, for the person;

  • Sign consent forms (for information about consent, please see our referral form);

  • Undertake capacity assessments.