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Ordinary residence guide

Determining local authority responsibilities under the Care Act and the Mental Health Act

This guide has been created to support the ambitions of the Transforming Care programme to improve services and support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both a learning disability and autism who may display behaviour that challenges, and significantly reduce the number of people in inpatient settings.

It is aimed at supporting partners to understand and apply the concepts of ordinary residence – in particular, recognising that many of the people supported have experienced complex care and support arrangements, over a number of years, in different geographical areas and where guidance and policy may have changed during this time.

These complexities can be challenging for partners in then determining the financial responsibilities for individuals, in particular on leaving inpatient settings where they may have been for significant lengths of time. Taking into account the experiences of and issues being raised by local authorities and Transforming Care Partnerships, this guide has been developed with the aim of supporting partners to minimise disputes and support collaborative local resolution.

In keeping with the principles of the Transforming Care programme, the wellbeing of individuals is paramount. Organisations should work together cooperatively and proactively, seeking to ensure that people moving between areas are provided with timely and effective support; they should ensure they are meeting the needs of the person and continuing with plans for individuals, regardless of uncertainties or disputes about funding arrangements. In these cases, the organisation currently meeting their needs should continue to do so on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, until the issue is resolved.

In line with current policy and good practice, the individual should always remain at the centre of the assessment and care and support planning process.

“Children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition, have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives and to be treated with the same dignity and respect. They should have a home within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships and get the support they need to live a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

Vision statement, Transforming Care