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Local authority care and support plan

This content applies to England

The care and support plan (or support plan in the case of a carer) is a document that records how the adult's (or carer's) needs will be met. It also contains the adult's personal budget which gives information on the cost of her/his care and support, and the amount that social services will contribute.

exclamation Please, note that some duties under the Care Act 2014 have been temporarily suspended during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more information, see the page Homelessness in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Care and support plans

Where a local authority has a duty to meet an adult's eligible care and support needs (or decides to exercise its power to do so) it must prepare a care and support plan.[1]

The plan must be drawn up in consultation with the adult and, where appropriate, with the adult's carer, or any other person at the adult's request. The plan must comply with the guiding principles of the Care Act 2014, which are to help people achieve the outcomes that matter to them in their life, and to actively seek to improve the adult's well-being. Well-being is 'at the heart of care and support'.[2] See the paragraph on Well-being on the page Care Act 2014: Access to housing with care and support.

A care and support must specify:[3]

  • the needs identified
  • whether, and to what extent, those needs meet the eligibility criteria
  • which needs the authority will meet and how
  • how meeting needs will affect the outcomes the adult wishes to achieve
  • the adult's 'personal budget', ie the cost to the authority of meeting those needs that it will meet
  • how the adult might delay or prevent future needs arising.

There is no duty to draw up a care and support plan where the authority is not responsible for meeting eligible care and/or support needs (for example where the adult makes her/his own arrangements).

Where any needs will be met by direct payments (see the page Charges for care and support for information on direct payments), the plan must include information on their amount and frequency.

The authority must take all reasonable steps to reach agreement with the adult about how her/his needs will be met.[4] A copy of the care and support plan must be given to the adult, and to anyone else at the adult's request.[5]

In one case, the High Court quashed the council's care plan because the council had not adequately considered whether it may be under a duty to provide accommodation.[6] For information on where the council may be under a duty to meet needs by providing accommodation see the page Care Act 2014: access to housing with care and support.

Reviewing the care and support plan

Local authorities must keep care and support plans under review to ensure that they remain accurate and up-to-date.[7] The authority must review the plan on the reasonable request of the adult who is the subject of the plan.

Where the adult's circumstances, such as their needs or finances, have changed to an extent that affects their care plan, the authority must carry out a fresh needs assessment and revise the plan as appropriate.

Where an adult is receiving care and support under legislation prior to the Care Act, their first review after April 2015 must consider whether their existing plan fulfils the requirements above, for example, does it contain the adult's personal budget? If not, steps must be taken to bring it into line.[8]

Challenging the care and support plan

See the page Complaints about social care for information on how to challenge a care and support plan.


The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.24 Care Act 2014; ch 10 Care and Support Statutory Guidance, October 2014.

[2] para 1.1 Care and Support Statutory Guidance, October 2014.

[3] s.25 Care Act 2014.

[4] s.25(5) Care Act 2014.

[5] s.25(9) Care Act 2014.

[6] R (on the application of SG) v Haringey LBC [2015] EWHC 2579 (Admin).

[7] s.27 Care Act 2014.

[8] para 23.20 Care and Support Statutory Guidance, October 2014.

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