LOCAL AUTHORITIES & SOCIAL WORKERS
We work closely with Local Authorities (Councils) and social workers in order to provide joined-up, collaborative solutions to the problems faced by vulnerable people and those who lack capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs.
Many local authorities act as a 'Corporate Appointee' for people who cannot manage their own benefits. However, in certain circumstances, a corporate appointee is insufficient to manage a person's property and finances. This may be because of the size or complexity of the estate involved. In these circumstances, a Court of Protection Deputy or an attorney (appointed under an LPA) may be needed in order to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated or vulnerable person.
We provide both Professional Deputyship and Attorney services. Deputyship services are suitable for people who lack the requisite mental capacity to manage their own property and finances. Attorney services are suitable for those people who do have mental capacity, but who may require additional support or financial safeguarding.
All of our services have been developed in line with our core values of empathy, integrity and transparency. As a nonprofit social enterprise, our aim is not to generate profit, but to act in the best interests of our clients.
In some circumstances, a person's care needs are negatively impacted or exacerbated by issues relating to their property and finances. This may be because they have been subject to financial abuse, or because their difficulty managing money has prevented them from living a healthy, independent life.
By ensuring the property and finances of incapacitated people are managed effectively, we believe the burden upon social services and Local Authorities may be reduced. We focus on providing proactive and preventative services which safeguard people's assets and attempts to mitigate a person's need for additional care and support. By doing so, we ensure they live as full and independent lives as possible.
THE SOCIAL CARE AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014
The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 sets out a range of positive legal obligations upon local authorities in Wales. Several of these obligations are relevant to issues surrounding mental capacity and financial safeguarding.
In particular, Section 15 states that a local authority must provide or arrange for the provision of a range and level of services which it considers will achieve a range of outcomes relating to:
- people's needs for care and support,
- minimising the effect on disabled people of their disabilities,
- contributing towards preventing people from suffering abuse or neglect, and
- enabling people to live their lives as independently as possible.
Section 16 goes on to state that a local authority must promote the development in its area of social enterprises to provide care and support and preventative services.
Our preventative services and support for disabled people are provided by expert, specialist Solicitors who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and appointed as Professional Deputies by the Court of Protection. However, unlike Solicitors providing such services in a traditional law firm, we operate as a third-sector social enterprise.
As a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee, we are an asset-locked body whose income is used only to further our social objectives - not to generate a profit.
POINT OF CONTACT AND TRAINING SERVICES
As part of our commitment to promoting access to justice, we provide free training sessions and a dedicated 'point of contact' service for social workers and other care professionals who may have queries relating to mental capacity and finances. All of these services are free, independent and impartial.
We offer training sessions which cover a range of topics, including:
- the Court of Protection
- Mental capacity in the context of financial affairs
- Financial safeguarding
These sessions can be delivered in-house or remotely in the form of an interactive webinar.