Community Care Law involves challenging decisions made by social services or, in some cases, a government department, where it is considered that they have acted unlawfully in how they are providing or funding services to children, young people, and elderly, vulnerable or disabled adults.
Our team can provide you with expert legal advice and assistance on a range of community care issues and challenges. We can support you through the process to ensure that you and your family receive the support and care which you need or are entitled to.
What decisions can you challenge?
As we know, funding for social care is already under considerable financial pressures and has been affected by cuts to budgets. As a result, those who are in need of support and care often find themselves lacking or without.
Children social services – we can advise and assist on a wide range of matters including:
- Requesting s.17 Children Act assessments in relation to duties owed towards children and their families
- Securing accommodation for children in need under s.20 of the Children Act.
- Challenging social services’ assessments by bringing a judicial review claim, where necessary.
- Securing relevant support and suitable accommodation for care leavers
- Helping families without recourse to public funds to access support and housing
Adult social services – we can advise and assist you with various matters including::
- Challenging Care Act assessments
- Requesting urgent interim accommodation pending assessment
- Dealing with disputes relating to level and type of care required
- Securing adaptations to your home
- Securing support with housing and welfare for people in the UK who have no recourse to public funds
- Care Home and nursing home assessments or placements
- Challenging incorrect or unfair care charges or other funding issues
- Assisting migrants who are being denied access to NHS healthcare or wrongly charged.
- Provide assistance in relation to decisions regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Our specialist community care lawyers consider and deal with all types of community care issues. Our team have wide experience in bringing judicial review claims in the High Court.
What do I need to do?
Please contact us immediately if you require advice or assistance with challenging an assessment. In most cases there is a 3 month deadline from the date of the decision in question to bring a claim for judicial review claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there legal aid funding available for my case?
Our expert community care legal team are amongst a handful of firms in London who have a Legal Aid contract to undertake community care work. Please get in touch with us to find out if legal aid is available for your type of case and to check if you meet the financial requirements.
Where your case cannot be funded by legal aid, we can offer competitive rates and potentially a fixed fee in some circumstances for our work.
Do I need to approach social services myself before I contact Osbornes Law for help?
It may be a requirement of legal aid funding that you have tried to request support or services yourself, or that there is a current assessment/care plan which you are seeking to challenge, before we can take on your case. There does need to be a legal issue involved, and it is not possible to obtain legal aid just to get general advice.
It would be helpful when you contact us to have full details of your interactions with social services to date, to know their latest position and why you consider them to be acting unlawfully in your case.
How do I know if social services are acting unlawfully?
If you consider that you are eligible for support with your care needs and those care needs are unmet or only partially met by social services after an assessment has taken place, then social services may be acting unlawfully as they are not complying with their legal obligations.
If there is a child in need who is without accommodation (or the people who normally care for the child are unable to do so), then children social services have a duty to carry out an assessment of the child’s needs and may be required to provide support and accommodation to the child’s welfare is protected.
There are numerous ways in which a local authority’s social services department or a government department may be acting unlawfully. Please get in touch and we can confirm whether we are able to help with your case.
- Our solicitors helped a 21 year old homeless young person get support with getting back into education and suitable accommodation from children’s social services as the young person was previously in the care of social services for 13 weeks between their 16th and 18th They had been turned away on numerous occasions and told to approach the housing department instead.
- Osbornes Law have successfully challenged Care Act assessments which found that a disabled client had no eligible care or support needs, but with our assistance they were able to secure a care and support package including 20 hours of care per week.
- We have helped our clients with no recourse to public funds access emergency housing and support from children social services whilst they carry out a s.17 Children Act assessment of the children and the family. Without such support the family would have been street homeless and destitute.
Support Groups & Useful links
For support for elderly, vulnerable and disabled adults:
For Children Act matters and advocacy services:
For adults and families with no recourse to public funds