Course in Community Care Law draft for reconfiguration

This course starts in June 2024.  

Here is some feedback from a few of our participants from previous annual courses: 

“This  course is one of the most exciting things to happen to me in years!!” 

“I am gaining loads from the course – it’s so informative – and the knowledge I am gaining is incredibly useful on the ground.” 

“I would like to take this chance to say how much I am enjoying the course, my knowledge and confidence are growing exponentially.” 

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to improve my knowledge, I love your passion and we do need people like you to keep reminding us what the important stuff is.” 

For whom is this course intended? 

The course is designed for professionals and future leaders working in the fields of adult social care and health who want to develop their legal awareness and acumen regarding community care law.  

This will likely include integration project staff, senior managers in health or social services or social care organisations, advice workers, independent advocates, social workers and adults’ services care managers, mental health practitioners, social work academics, paralegals and public lawyers looking for new subject expertise.  

This course is also designed for people who have an interest in developing their understanding of community care law. In particular, for people who want to empower and advocate better for themselves or others, in their dealings with adult social care and health staff, complaints staff, the ombudsman’s services, law firms etc. 

This will most likely include people who have a health condition or disability, whether mental or physical, or care for someone who does.  

Or perhaps people who are members of a peer support or self-advocacy group, a citizen’s forum or feedback group or a family carers’ group. 

What will I gain from this course? 

You will ACQUIRE the following from attendance on the course, if you give it your best shot – we can’t do the reading FOR you! You will not be helped, outside of whatever is feasible via your learning circle, or examined, formally, but you will be encouraged, enthused and motivated – and we hope there will be many ‘lightbulb’ moments.

  • Understanding what sort of law it is that applies in this sector, and how it operates;  
  • Knowledge of the difference between the Administrative Court and the Court of Protection and what happens in those courts; 
  • Familiarity with how law and legal principle actually work in the context of local authority and public sector culture after 20 years of austerity; 
  • Awareness of whether you possess that one magical thing: legal acumen – which means an ability to think laterally from one situation to another, and make a judgment about whether the differences signify – or might signify – a different legal outcome, and why that might be and WHAT that might be, once you have learned about the applicable laws and public law principles;  
  • Skills, if you might want to work in the sector as a case worker – in distinguishing what someone thinks or says happened, from what they can prove probably happened, to a reasonable standard – often having to cut through distressed streams of consciousness on a referral, to probe the person’s situation, quite hard … and then paraphrase the essence of the legal problem. 
  • A belief in the power and value of public law for the wider good, and its consistency with traditional social work values of accountability, non-discrimination, anti-oppression and anti-arbitrariness; 
  • The satisfaction that comes from being disciplined about doing the Guided Learning and Supported Study reading, for every session.  

What will I learn from this course? 

We will study topics arising from the Care Act – please see the full list below – using past and current case law, and delving into case studies and reading links. 

We will also be looking at how accountability can work in practice, given the two different legal frameworks of health and social care, whilst those bodies are busy trying to integrate to a further extent than has ever been tried before. 

  1. How social care entitlement and enforcement ‘works’ in this country:– public law and human rights and distinguishing public law principles from what goes on in the Court of Protection, safeguarding, contract, negligence, criminal and regulatory law in this sector 
  2. Advocacy, Involvement, Participation, Confidentiality and Information sharing 
  3. Assessment 
  4. Eligibility 
  5. Care Planning and choice 
  6. Carers’ Rights 
  7. The Mental Capacity Aspects of Care Act functions 
  8. Reviews and Revisions and Cuts in particular – legal and illegal ones 
  9. Ordinary Residence, and Continuing Ordinary Residence (and continuity) 
  10. Direct Payments and Personal health budgets 
  11. Commissioning, joint funding, delegation  
  12. Fees issues from a provider’s perspective 
  13. Continuing NHS Health Care 
  14. Housing, supported living and social care in general  
  15. S117 Mental Health Aftercare 
  16. Children and Young People 
  17. Charging Law 
  18. Disability Related Expenditure 
  19. Complaints and other remedies such as the Monitoring Officer and using the Ombudsman effectively 
  20. Legal Aid and getting the client to judicial review and permission to proceed 

How long is the course and when and how is it delivered? 

The 20 sessions will be spread over the course of one year (ending in May 2025).  For people who are supporting CASCAIDr through volunteering, there will be an accelerated course available after 3 months, based on recordings and weekly day-time surgeries, also recorded but in real time.

The standard course for professsionals and practitioners, whether volunteering support for CASCAIDr or fee-paying, is delivered via Zoom, on Wednesday evenings at 7pm (mainly 2-3 week gaps) with access to the PowerPoint presentations before the session and live recordings (the full session, or just the audio file) shortly after each session. 

Sessions will consist of a 1.5 hour lecture, followed by a break-out session and then a whole group Q&A for questions raised in the Chat or the break-outs. Sessions end at 9pm or shortly thereafter depending on the pace and the questions asked. 

The cohort is divided up into Learning Circles of about 6 people, for ongoing supported study.  

Lecture recordings, lecture presentations and reading material for getting through, between the scheduled sessions, are all included in the allocated place which may be free to some and paid for by others.   

The learning circles can offer a vibrant community of like-minded individuals who bond and support each other – both inside and outside of the course – when they work well. 

Does it count for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points? 

Yes – depending on what scheme you are registered with (i.e. Social Work England) 

How much does it cost? 

If you are after a chargeable place, not related to volunteering for us, then the fee for the year is £250 via Paypal, and payable by March 2024. 

Please note that there is also a screening process to ensure all participants are going to be able to benefit from attendance, so no payment should be made until you have received an email from us confirming that you have been accepted onto the course. We will send you the payment link once your application has been approved. 

What are the entry criteria for taking part in the course? 

Although you don’t need to have any formal legal qualifications to undertake the course, entry to this course is competitive (due to the limit for Zoom) and you will need the following knowledge and experience: 

Familiarity with the adults’ social care system, ie the Care Act, and the basic ideas in the Mental Capacity Act. 

Knowing what you don’t yet know; an inquiring mind, internet research skills, and an appreciation that all is not quite what it seems, in adult social care law. 

Intellectual acceptance that there’s a difference in legal terms (even if one wishes there was not) between what a person wants and what a person could defensibly be said to need out of public money, given that the legal test for a care package is NOT ‘the best life a person could possibly have’. 

How do I apply? 

If you want to come on the course via the free Volunteer route, which is open to people from ALL sectors, please fill out our Volunteer task sheet so that we can understand more about your skills and knowledge base, and how it fits with what we need to keep going.  

If you’re from an organisation offering CASCAIDr some kind of help or want a paid-for place, please send a cv and a covering letter to 

In your covering letter, please explain why you’re interested in the course and its relevance to you and indicate whether you want to be considered for a free place or paid for place, your existing general legal knowledge, knowledge of public law and knowledge and any USE of the Care Act you’ve already made, in particular. 

Places will be allocated first, to those we think most likely to benefit and be able to keep up with the studying, and decisions made at the end of March 2024 when we know whether we can run this course or not. 
Please note that no refunds are offered for anyone who decides it’s not for them or who is unable to continue – they may still benefit from the recordings and reading material.