Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled these FAQs from regular enquiries to our Referrals and Care Teams. If you can’t find an answer to the question you’re looking for, please call us on 01296 821558 or email email@example.com.
What is supported living, and how does it differ from residential care?
Supported living services provide care for those in their own or rented accommodation, who want to live as independently as possible while still being able to rely on the individual support they need. This kind of support is ideal for those with capacity and ability who still need help with day-to-day tasks and activities, including those ready to move on from a residential home or special needs education. However people with profound or multiple complex needs can also benefit from a supported living environment, with care packages ranging from a few hours a week to 24/7 support.
Unlike residential care, in supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. Housing is generally provided through the local authority or a registered housing association, care through a specialist provider. The funding authority meets the cost of care direct, and the individual pays for housing, household and personal expenses, through personal benefits or earnings.
If you need help finding accommodation, or simply want to understand more about how supported living services work, you can contact our Referrals Team on 01296 821558, who are happy to answer any questions, or connect you with the relevant local authority resources in your area.
You can also find out more on the Supported Living page.
What is included in a supported living package?
In supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. The care package will vary from just a few hours a week to 24/7 support, depending on individual needs. Supported living services can help with things like learning new skills for independence, shopping, cooking and menu-planning, personal care and managing medication, accessing employment and local community activities, finance and managing money.
Importantly supporting living packages do not include rent or accommodation, household and personal bills, activities, transport or any specialist equipment, such as assistive technologies, the individual requires.
What are the pros and cons of supported living?
When considering the right kind of care for a loved one, it’s not terribly helpful to think in terms of ‘pros and cons’. The ‘right’ type of care is whatever meets the needs of the individual concerned best, at that particular time in their life.
Supported living services provide care for those in their own or rented accommodation, who want to live as independently as possible while still being able to rely on the individual support they need. Care packages are flexible, ranging from a few hours a week to 24/7, live-in support, and many specialist supported living environments are shared by people with similar conditions, provide a similar community feel to a residential home. Supported living arrangements tend to provide the individual with greater choice, over where they live, who they live with, and what they do with their time and money.
How do I access supported living accommodation?
Our Referrals Team can help you find the right solution. You can contact us on 01296 821558 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who pays for supported living services?
In supported living, personal care and accommodation are provided under separate contractual arrangements. The funding authority meets the cost of care direct, and the individual pays for housing, household and personal expenses, either through personal benefits or income from employment.
When we receive an enquiry, we review the individual’s high level care requirements to ensure we are able to provide appropriate support. If this is the case, the enquiry is passed to our Referrals Team, who arrange to meet the individual, and typically their family, social worker and current support staff, to complete the assessment. During the conversation, we take into account everyone’s views, listen to the individual’s preferences, and then match their needs to the resources we have at our disposal.
If everyone agrees the placement is right, we provide a fully-costed assessment to the funding authority for approval.
We recognise that sometimes a move has to be arranged very quickly. We’re able to offer emergency placements, often completing an assessment on the same day as an enquiry is received, while still ensuring the placement is entirely suitable and staff are able to provide the most appropriate support. To find our more, or make a referral, please call 01296 821558, email email@example.com or visit the Referrals page.
Individual care needs are determined during the assessment process by our Referrals Team in combination with the individual themselves, their care worker and, where appropriate, close family. Suitability for a placement is also reviewed by our experienced Registered Manager, before passing to the funding authority for approval. Local authorities complete their own care needs assessment (CNA) and base the funding level on this.
Following an assessment, the relevant local authority will confirm how it will meet the eligible needs of an individual requiring support in a Care and Support Plan. The plan is a detailed document setting out what services will be provided, how they will meet the person’s needs, when they will be provided, and who will provide them. You are entitled to see a copy of your plan, the Care Act says that it must be person-centred and person-led, and the local authority should ensure that the individual concerned, and in complex needs cases their family or advocates, are happy with it before it is finalised. The plan is reviewed annually, or if circumstances change.
Everyone we support has their own personal care plan, tailored to their specific needs. Initially, we gather information at the assessment stage, from previous placements, the individual’s family and their care professional. This helps define precisely the support required. If they have capacity, sections of the plan are written by the person being supported themselves; if not these are completed by a close family member or advocate. Our Registered Manager finishes the plan, detailing any potential risks to the individual and providing specific guidance on how to support them.
Once a person has moved into a supported living service, their care plan will expanded and updated as staff get to know them better. The plan is reviewed annually and updated following any change in circumstances or medical professional input.
How do local authorities determine eligibility for funding?
Local authorities each have their own eligibility criteria, based on the national criteria outlined in the Care Act. Authorities complete a Care Needs Assessment (CNA) and base their funding on its results. Our own assessment enables us to provide a cost for the appropriate package of care, which we discuss with the funding authority. The costed package is reviewed by a local authority commissioning panel to get funding approved.
Who pays for EJ Care’s services?
Our care services are funded either by the relevant local authority or in some cases the NHS. On occasion, individuals or their families choose to access our supported living services direct.
What is a personal budget?
A personal budget is the total amount of money provided by a local authority to pay for the care and support that meets an individual’s needs, whether this support is provided by the local authority itself, through a third party organisation such as a care provider or charity, paid as a direct payment to the individual concerned, or a combination of these approaches. The personal budget must be sufficient to meet the cost of all an individual’s eligible needs, as set out in their Care and Support Plan.
What benefits can I apply for?
People with learning disabilities and other complex conditions are entitled to the same benefits as anyone else. In addition, those between 16 and 64 are typically eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to help with the extra costs caused by a disability. PIP is awarded according to how the disability affects an individual’s ability to carry out certain specified activities, and what help they need with those activities. It’s based on a points system. Eight points triggers the Standard rate, and 12 the Enhanced rate for daily living and/or mobility. PIP is tax free and is not means tested. You can find out more about PIP at https://www.gov.uk/pip.
Those with disabilities may also be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is for people over 16 who have a disability or a long term health problem that restricts their ability to work. You can learn more at https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
How can I challenge a funding decision?
If you want to challenge a funding decision, for instance if a personal budget is reduced or is insufficient to cover the costs of support, you should start by raising the issue in writing to the Director of Adult Services at the funding authority, requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration. Individual authorities have their own specific complaints procedures, but always ensure you explain how the decision will impact the individual concerned. You can also ask for an explanation of how the decision was reached.
If you’re not happy with the response you receive from the local authority, you can then complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman investigates complaints where a local authority may have made an incorrect decision. They can recommend a review.
A solicitor can tell you if a judicial review may be possible. A judicial review is the way that people can challenge the lawfulness of a decision made by a public body such as a local authority.
You might also consider writing to your MP, who can intervene on behalf of a constituent.
Mencap has produced a helpful guide for families looking to challenge a decision.
With all parties in agreement that our supported living service is the best choice for your relative, and funding is approved, we develop a tailored Transition Plan to help make the move as smooth and welcoming as possible. Your Referrals Manager is responsible for overseeing the process, and you can contact them at any time with any concerns and questions you have.
They’ll organise a Transition Meeting where everyone can plan the move together, including agreeing how many visits your relative may need to get to know and feel comfortable with staff and housemates, whether they’d like an overnight stay before moving in, whether any adaptations need to be made to the home environment (supported living accommodation) and if staff need any new training to support them.
Everyone has a keyworker – a member of staff with particular responsibility for their welfare. Your relative’s keyworker will take extra time to get to know you and them, visiting their current placement, shadowing staff and working to ensure a successful transition. A dedicated practitioner from our Positive Behaviour Support Team will also work with the home during and after your relative’s transition period to monitor their emotional and mental wellbeing.
If you believe your relative’s placement with EJ Care is unsuitable, the Registered Manager and our Referrals Team will discuss your concerns with you, and if appropriate investigate transfer options.
If your relative is currently supported by another care provider, and they are unable or unwilling to offer an alternative placement, you can contact your funding authority and request a reassessment, stating that you believe it is in their best interests to be moved. During the reassessment process, you can explain to the social worker why your relative is not getting the care they need and the potential consequences if they remain where they are. If you feel the situation is reaching a crisis point, and believe the local authority is not acting to address the situation, you can approach a community care solicitor. If the dispute is about what is in their best interests, and agreement cannot be reached, then it may be necessary for the matter to be considered by the Court of Protection.
Yes all the members in our care leadership team, have a proven track record of helping people who are able to move along the pathway from a residential setting to a more independent environment as their needs evolve.
Transfer schedules will vary depending on individual circumstances, their particular care requirements and vacancies at our services in the area. If there is a suitable vacancy and funding is in place it can be very quick, but it may take up to several months.
Involving families in the referral, assessment and care planning process is a critical part of ensuring that the people we support get the care they need. Your views will be listened to carefully at each stage of the process by all those involved in your relative’s care, and with your relative’s consent, each time their needs are reviewed.
As part of the transition process, we will discuss with you exactly how you would like to be communicated with and how often. Managers and staff communicate regularly with families and are available by phone and email.
How do you communicate with relatives?
As part of the transition process, we will discuss with you exactly how you would like to be communicated with and how often. Managers and staff communicate regularly with close family members of the people they support, and are available by phone and email.
Yes, you can contact your family member at any time, as long as they are happy to receive the call.
Yes, as long as they agree to your being informed. We believe sharing information is very important, but we also have to respect the wishes of the people we support. Where someone specifies we can’t share certain personal information, we are bound to respect this unless to do so would not be in their best interests and/or they have been assessed as lacking capacity themselves. However, on a day-to-day basis, we would expect to inform you about all significant events in your loved one’s life.
How does EJ Care ensure the general health and wellbeing of the people you support?
We develop individually tailored Health Action Plans for everyone we support, covering all aspects of healthcare. Everyone has their own plan, and staff ensure that all appropriate health checks are completed as required. We work closely with local healthcare authorities and a variety of healthcare professionals to ensure the healthcare needs of all those we support are met, including managing medical appointments, and regular medical and dental check-ups. We also work with speech and language therapists, professional physios, psychiatrists as well as our own internal Positive Behaviour Support Team. Where appropriate, our registered managers can provide support with making referrals to other health services.
Personal care plans provide guidance on exercise and diet. Where appropriate, individuals are encouraged to get involved in preparing meals to help build knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating.
Does EJ Care provide medical or nursing services?
No. Where an individual has specific healthcare requirements, these are provided through local healthcare services.
What if my family member needs support from health services as well as a care provider?
We work closely with local healthcare authorities and a variety of healthcare professionals to ensure the healthcare needs of all those we support are met, including managing medical appointments, and regular medical and dental check-ups. Where appropriate, our service managers can provide support with making referrals to other health services. Our staff will also help administer prescription medication or support individuals to self-medicate.
Does my family member have a right to an assessment?
Yes, if you believe your family member requires support in any way, you should contact your local authority’s adult social services department and request a needs assessment. If necessary, the local authority has the power to provide urgent support before starting an assessment and while the assessment is carried out.
Does the local authority have a duty to meet my family member’s needs?
Yes, the local authority has a duty to meet all of your family member’s needs, providing they are eligible for support following an assessment. During the assessment process, a local authority social worker, in combination with a care provider, will determine an individual’s needs, centred around the person themselves and, whenever appropriate, including a close family member. Assessment will refer to the national ‘eligibility criteria’ as laid out in the Care Act. Provided that your relative’s needs are ‘eligible’ for support under these criteria, the local authority is duty-bound to meet those needs.
How do you support the rights of privacy of the people you support?
Can someone be excluded from a home because of their behaviour?
If your family member is eligible, they have the right to access care and support. If they are prone to behaviour that challenges, they may require support from a specialist care provider, such as EJ Care, with access to a Positive Behaviour Support Team. Not all care providers have these capabilities around behaviours that challenge, and it may be appropriate to transfer your relative to one that does. Ultimately your relative cannot be ‘excluded’ from the care they need. The local authority or NHS is under an obligation to meet their needs by finding another suitable placement
Does my relative have a right to be transferred if they are unhappy with their placement?
If your family member is unsettled or unhappy in their placement, this will impact their wellbeing and potential to achieve positive outcomes. In the first instance their care provider is obliged to work closely with the individual, and their close network, to establish the underlying reasons for their distress, including their physical and emotional needs, and seek to resolve them. It could be that a transfer is part of the recommended solution.
If you believe your family member’s placement is not suitable for their needs you can contact the funding authority and request a reassessment, including that it is in their best interests to be moved. During the reassessment process, you can explain to the social worker why your relative is not getting the care they need and the potential consequences if they remain where they are. If you feel the situation is reaching a crisis point, and believe the local authority is not acting to address the situation you can approach a community care solicitor. If the dispute is about what is in their best interests, and agreement cannot be reached, then it may be necessary for the matter to be considered by the Court of Protection.
My relative is nearing 18, how do their rights change?
Under the law every adult over 18, whatever their disability, has the right to make their own decisions, where they have capacity to do so, and should be supported to do so wherever possible. Under recent Special Educational Needs legislation, young people become primary decision makers about their educational support from the age of 16. If the young person has capacity to make these decisions it does not mean parents cannot be involved – young people can continue to have their parents involved as much as they want.
The Mental Capacity Act (2005), which applies to all people over 16, also recognises that some people may not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, in which case others may decide what’s in that person’s best interests. A person may have capacity to make some of the decisions in their life but not all of them; deciding if someone has capacity is always decision-specific. So, family members can continue to make many decisions for their adult child in their best interests. However, this will not automatically be the case in all aspects of their child’s life.
Importantly, the Mental Capacity Act requires professionals to consult with family members when an adult lacks the mental capacity to make a decision for him or herself. Family members can challenge professionals if they feel that they are not being involved. Ultimately, families can refer matters to the Court of Protection if they feel that their involvement is being limited or decisions are being taken that are not in the family member’s best interests. A family member can seek legal power to make certain decisions, likes finances or welfare, on behalf of their adult child, including applying to become a Deputy through the Court of Protection.
How do you assure the quality of your services?
Quality of care, good governance and the delivery of successful outcomes are central to our purpose and embedded in the ethos of the organisation. Our care & safety standards exceed statutory requirements and are underpinned by rigorous internal and independent audit processes.
Who is responsible for quality in your organisation?
Quality is the responsibility of our Quality Team.
How regularly are your services inspected?
Each month, a senior manager speak to the people we support and the staff team, to monitor how well the team is meeting individual needs. Out-of-hours, unannounced visits are conducted regularly by the senior management team to ensure everyone in the service is safe and well supported. A running programme of inspections, aligned with the Fundamental Standards, is completed by our Quality Team. A report with an action plan is produced, which the manager completes. We maintain a database to monitor compliance from these inspections.
What is Positive Behaviour Support?
Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a person-centred approach to supporting people who display or are at risk of behaviours which challenge. It involves understanding the reasons for the behaviour and considering the person as a whole – including their life history, physical health and emotional needs – to identify ways of supporting them. EJ Care has its own in-house PBS team who work closely with our homes to monitor the behavioural, emotional and psychological needs of those we care for.
How do you measure the progress of the people you support?
Delivering successful outcomes is at the heart of our business. We monitor individual behavioural, emotional and psychological needs, and work closely with health and social care professionals, the people we support and their families, to ensure we provide the appropriate level of care at all times. Specifically we use Department of Health recognised measurement tools such as The Recovery Star.