CASCAIDr – The Centre for Adults’ Social Care – Advice, Information and Dispute Resolution
What is CASCAIDr?
CASCAIDr is a new national advice charity, providing specialist legal advice about everyone’s rights to have their needs for care and support decided lawfully, reasonably and fairly.
What does its name stand for?
The Centre for Adults’ Social Care – Advice, Information and Dispute Resolution
What is its aim?
To reinvigorate the rule of law within local government and that part of the NHS responsible for commissioning care and support packages for those with complex health needs.
We aim to empower and support people, their carers and practitioners to resolve disagreements about access to services – and, in doing so, ensure that those suffering disability or an impairment are not needlessly dragged into poverty or despair.
Why is it needed?
Whilst there is a growing understanding of the impact that austerity measures have had on social and health care provision, few are aware of the complexity of legal duties, powers and responsibilities owed to our most vulnerable members of society.
Most people only seek support or come to rely on social care services and funding in times of crisis.
Family members and carers, exhausted by providing dedicated care, rarely have the energy required to navigate referral processes or complaints procedures to secure fair processes and lawful packages of care.
As none of us can know our own future, we all need public sector decision-making to be properly governed by the law and sound legal principles.
What sort of problems will CASCAIDr be taking on?
Access to funded advocacy rights; whether assessments are compliant with the law; whether councils are following the statutory Guidance; rights to funds for sufficient levels of care to avoid support needs escalating or sacrificing carers’ wellbeing; the legality of cuts to care plans.
How will CASCAIDr do this?
By providing free and outcome-focused advice and a checklist and a pre action protocol letter to individuals with problems that are within our ‘free scope’ list.
CASCAIDr will also provide chargeable but low-cost advice on a wider range of problems, to those needing support in relation to submitting complaints and accessing other remedies.
What has crowdfunding have to do with CASCAID’s strategy?
Where issues can’t be resolved through dialogue and a barrister has given a positive opinion on the merits of the case, CASCAIDr may support crowdfunding to secure legal challenges. This not only strengthens an individual’s position, but also supports widespread lawful decision-making by clarifying any areas of uncertainty in the current legal framework.
What sort of people will CASCAIDr help?
Individuals – service users, carers, relatives, brokers, advocates, appointees, attorneys, deputies. Charitable Organisations – providers of care and support, and advocacy organisations with charitable status…
What about non-charitable organisations? Can they get help from CASCAIDr too?
Non-charitable organisations and individuals seeking advice outside CASCAIDr’s charitable scope can source chargeable but affordable advice from CASCAIDr Trading Ltd. All profits of that company will directly fund the provision of free legal advice through the charity’s work.
What does CASCAIDr’s service include?
- A telephone helpline – 4 days a week – for a booked half hour free ‘steer’ for people who are not sure if they’ve even got a legal problem
- A referral form for people to fill in online
- Volunteers to help people to express all the relevant detail of their predicament, if they are struggling
- Expert advisers who will produce the checklist and letters that are the free output
- Support and guidance for those who want to crowdfund to bring formal legal proceedings.
What can people expect?
CASCAIDr advisers will:
- Analyse a situation for omissions to comply with the Care Act or public law principles
- Give the client a checklist to take back to the council/CCG
- Write a letter in the form of a pre-action protocol letter, setting out what’s not been done correctly
- Seek advice on the client’s behalf, from a direct access barrister
- Consider helping the client crowdfund so that council or CCG knows that the client can, if required, challenge unlawful decisions in Court.
Is there anything that CASCAIDr won’t do?
…act as a gun for hire: we care about our credibility and we won’t put forward a case just because you’d like us to, or would pay us money to do so – we care about the coherence of the legal framework, and aspire to supporting the achievement of a sustainable social care system;
…take your matter on, if it’s not within our advisers’ expertise – on which our judgement must be respected as final;
…act for both sides to a dispute, unless specifically asked, by both sides, to mediate with regard to the legal strengths and weaknesses of the parties, based on an agreed statement of facts.
Does CASCAIDr offer training on the legal framework?
We’ll be offering affordable training, too, in the form of webinars and lectures for universities, charitable providers and advocacy organisations.
Any organisation that is not charitable will be able to purchase the same services from CASCAIDr TRADING Ltd, our trading subsidiary, albeit at a slightly higher rate – with all net profits going back to the Charity.
Both organisations will be run on a shoe-string – no employees, just self-employed advisers and volunteers. We will have some expenses, obviously, but aim to be one of the lowest cost advice charities around.
Where will all the money come from?
Members of the public, organisations such as care providers, housing associations and, large foundations interested in social justice.
All donations attract GiftAid or will be tax deductible for corporate bodies, because we are a registered charity.
We want “Collaborating with CASCAIDr, to uphold legal rights’ to be a badge of pride, one day, for sophisticated health and social care businesses!
Are there people who’ve already benefited from CASCAIDr’s support?
Yes. We already have the stories and some photos for this range of happy beneficiaries
- service users who were told that they could only expect the cost of a service that no other reasonable authority could have thought of as suitable;
- clients who have been able to win back services for their psychological and emotional wellbeing;
- young people evicted from care homes simply because their relatives made complaints, restored to secure status and supported to move on, after proper planning;
- carers who have been supported to pull back from levels of care that were killing them, once proper services were obtained for their loved one;
- parents of severely disabled people, supported to fight cuts that had been suggested without any rational reason, other than austerity;
- clients who’ve been denied CHCs,
- businesses whose clients have been supported to dispute illicit top-ups
- clients who’ve been helped to fight illicit charges levied outside the Care Act rules
- a client helped to remain in his mother’s home because of having given up his own accommodation to help care for her
- a man who was supported to explain why he would not be moving his mother from her care home, or paying any more top-ups, since the council’s documentation was not compliant with the legislation.
Ways to share in our journey:
Visit our website – www.cascaidr.org.uk – and catch up on some of our early good news stories, where our advisers have already changed people’s lives, by use of legal principle.
Get on Social Media!
- Twitter: @CASCAIDr – please follow us here
- Mention/Tweet about @CASCAIDr – for hashtags we’re going to be using #socialcare, #CASCAIDr, #isitok, #carecrisis and #LovingLegalLiteracy
- PLEASE re-tweet our fundraising ‘call to action’ Tweets 4-15 December
- View or subscribe to our lists on @CASCAIDr
- Facebook – CASCAIDr’s organisation page, click here to view
- from that page, please like, comment on and share CASCAIDr posts …
- LinkedIn – look up Belinda Schwehr and connect here
- you may also like to join the special interest group Adult Social Care Legal Developments – click here to view
Want to volunteer? Click here
Want to advise? Click here
How to Donate –
- Please, please DONATE (MyDonate.bt.com charges only 15p for the card transaction, or 65p for a credit card…)
- All individuals’ donations will ultimately attract GiftAid, when HMRC gives us a certificate!
- We get 25% extra if you eventually complete our GiftAid declaration, so that’s massive!
- If you’re a higher rate tax payer, and you give us £8, we’ll get £10 and you’ll get £2 back! So for £6 from you, we get £10! How great is that?
- All corporate donations are tax deductible, as we are a registered charity.
Help us fundraise
- You can set up your own fundraising sub-page on bt.com, if you’d enjoy doing ANYthing that will raise funds and awareness! You need to register in person on that link and then it will set you up with a sub-page, linked to CASCAIDr’s bank account. Tell us!
- You could start a collection at your workplace or pass on this document link to interested colleagues.
- You can send this Twitter Moment (here) on to contacts on WhatsApp, for free, once you’ve opened the link to the Moment on your phone.
Get in touch?