Belinda’s Purpose

Care and Health Law’s campaign to create competency in the Care Act 

The content of the series is different to other training provided by Social Care TV, SCIE or the Skills for Care materials.  It’s about difficult stuff – actual law, yes, but in the language of care and support; and it’s about where clients’ rights, and councils’ obligations, both start and stop – and what to do about it, when the theory might bear very little relation to the reality of what’s going on in adult social care in your area.

I am fastidiously legally neutral. I do not ‘have it in’ for councils as such – I have it ‘in’ for the whole local and central government culture that has allowed social work and care to be medieaval-ised and de-professionalised over the last few years, despite the legal framework actually forbidding a ‘budget-led’ approach; and I am not about to stop commenting on that, just because the Care Act has now been with us for a while. But I want to prevent litigiousness, by ensuring that people know how to do it as legally as possible, and I do what I do for the sector’s staff, ultimately, so that they continue to care to function, in very difficult circumstances.

The webinars point up what is being done that would highly probably be regarded as unlawful if it were to be challenged via judicial review, with reasons why. But the lectures also emphasise that there are plenty of lawful cuts able to be made to packages and budgets, as well as unlawful ones, right now – because all council staff have to do, in legal terms, is to act defensibly, under the Care Act…

The content of the webinar series is clearly expressed and legally well-informed, and you get answers to your questions, there and then.

The idea of the series is to enable everyone in the sector to benefit from specialist interactive ‘legal framework’ training, without anyone having to GO anywhere, and pay for a venue, or for the trainer’s travel or accommodation. I am doing this because austerity compels councils to save money by cutting face to face training.

The online nature of the training enables small organisations to afford to add this knowledge base to their CPD, in order to keep up-to-date. Everyone gets the recording, so that you can listen at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home, if you want.

It’s my latest suggested solution to the widespread lack of knowledge (even amongst professionals, registered social workers and providers’ managers) as to how to deliver on the Care Act’s promises, even if one is not quite sure how these kinds of laws actually work, in this country.

Who are these Webinars aimed at?

• The webinars are great for all stakeholders in the sector – eg., care providers of all sorts; advocates; service users and carers and their peer support groups; lecturers; students and trainers. And, of course, for the odd one or two social workers and care managers!

INDIVIDUAL people – any worker, lecturer, student, elected Member, Trustee, etc, can purchase one webinar at a time for £10 and the rates for all such people go up to £90 for 12. So no-one needs to miss out, just because their direct employer doesn’t buy into the series. The recordings can be listened to at home, in the car, wherever you like. Your own development and awareness IS your own responsibility, both to yourself and to the people you have an impact on, and this series makes it possible to honour that notion.

But of course, if you are a council, needing to cut the amount of face-to-face training that you are obliged to commission, there is no better way of doing this than subscribing to the webinar series, on a corporate basis, at a vastly reduced fee rather than on a ‘per person’ basis.

The series starts on April 6th and runs until March 2017, building the knowledge base up, slowly.

The basic series consists of 24 hours of material – the equivalent of 4 full days’ training for an unlimited number of people associated with your organisation (health partners and delegates) – and it’s material that you cannot get from anyone else in the sector – that is, deep Care Act ‘legal framework’ expertise – for £1500, as a one-off payment.

Naturally, there are lower fees for SMEs and very small councils, who would only ever want 35 people to see the recordings.

If, as a council, you want to offer the service to your contracted providers, to improve the knowledge of the whole sector, you can do so, for between £3000 – £5000 + VAT for the 12 webinar series, depending on how many providers you’re contracting with, in your proximate geographical area. (If you’re a care provider, please consider pointing THAT out to your provider forum and to the local council’s commissioners or Learning & Development Unit, ASAP!)

But for councils, large care businesses and universities, we hope that the rates provide the cheapest possible scaled solution to the obligation to ensure that staff and students become and remain equipped to be COMPETENT in managing legal risks, and practising defensibly – and (for councils) in the statutory commissioning responsibility to secure sustainability, quality and diversity in the whole sector’s workforce in your area.

All organisation-based subscriptions (except for the very broad ‘all providers’ one) include access to the Q&A part of the databank on www.careandhealthlaw.com, which is being updated as fast as possible, to put all the old legal questions into Care Act form, so this is a resource for your management and legal department as well.