As a professional, you may decide to refer an adult to Adult Social Care.

You will need their consent to do so unless you have cause to believe that they lack the capacity to make decisions regarding their care and support and safety.

Here is a summary of Adult Social Care Key duties under the Care Act 2014, to help you to determine when to:

  • Request an assessment for care and support needs
  • Refer for a Carers assessment
  • Report a safeguarding concern about an adult at risk of abuse or neglect


Promoting Well-being (section 1)

Central to the Care Act is the concept of wellbeing.  Local Authorities have a duty to consider the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the individual needing care.  Well-being also includes personal dignity; protection from abuse or neglect; control over day-to-day life; participation in work, education, training or recreation; social and economic well-being; domestic, family and personal relationships; suitability of living accommodation; and ‘the individual’s contribution to society'.

Assessment of an adult’s needs for care and support (section 9)

Assessments can be requested when an adult presents with the appearance of care and support needs.

Assessments must be outcome-focused and the duty to assess applies ‘regardless of the adult’s financial resources. 

The assessment will identify:

  • Whether the individual has care and support needs
  • What those needs may be, and the impact on their wellbeing and outcomes
  • Whether other factors, including the person’s own resources and networks, could play a role in achieving the outcomes they want
  • Whether the needs are eligible, such as to place a duty on the local authority to meet them
  • What information on community services will help meet their needs
  • Whether preventative interventions might reduce, delay or remove needs.

Carers Assessments (section 10)

The Care Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s needs for support, where the carer appears to have such needs.

Refusal of assessment (section 11)

Section 11 deals specifically with the position where a person refuses an assessment or carer’s assessment. In such cases the local authority will not be required to assess, subject to two exceptions:

(1) where the person lacks capacity, and an assessment is in their best interests; and

(2) where the person is experiencing or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.

Safeguarding (section 42)

The Care Act places safeguarding adults on a statutory footing. 

Section 42 contains the duty to make enquiries if an adult with care and support needs:

  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect; and
  • Is unable to protect him/herself against the abuse/neglect.

The Care and support statutory guidance identify ten types of abuse, these are:

The Local Authority also has the powers to undertake none statutoty safeguarding enquiries  where it has reasonable cause to believe a person without care and support needs may be at significant risk of or experiencing abuse.  Non-statutory enquiries are undertaken at the discretion of the Local Authority.

Below are the links to the Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board website for further information and Oldham’s Multiagency Safeguarding policy and Procedures:

Twitter: @SafeguardOldham

To make a professional’s referral:

Make a professional referral

Further information can be found at: