Social care in England covers the range of services and support that help people with the consequences of impairment, disability, frailty and ill-health, and also associated needs that are exacerbated by poverty and social isolation. The social care system in England includes long-term care (i.e. post-acute care) but also extends to social protection, safeguarding, wellbeing support.
Social care services and support include: care homes, home care, day care and other community services, equipment and assistive technologies, and also professional support from social workers, therapists etc. Services are mainly delivered by private and voluntary sector organisations, with some public sector provision. Publicly-funded care can also be organised through personal budgets that are given to people with care needs; these are often used to pay for personal assistance.
Local authorities (councils) are mainly responsible for commissioning publicly-funded care. Eligibility for this support is subject to both a (financial) means and needs-test. A substantial proportion of social care is self-funded by individuals and their families. Social care is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, who, for example, register and inspect care agencies.
ARC KSS social care programme
ARC KSS carries out applied research and implementation support on social care in the Kent Surrey and Sussex region. ARC KSS is also lead for social care in the national priorities programme in adult social care and social work which brings together a number of ARCs to give a national perspective on this priority area.