Find out about what community care services, at home or in the community, may be available if you are an autistic young person or adult or a parent or carer of a child, and find out where to get advice.

Social care advice services

A range of organisations provide advice services which can help with social care issues. The level of specialism varies, from general advice services which can talk through an issue and suggest a course of action through to specialist advice services who can help with complex situations and offer on-going case work. A few services are able to offer free legal representation.

Advice services are under a lot of pressure due to lack of funding, so you may have to try contacting several different organisations before you find one that can help and may have to wait for an appointment. Many have useful factsheets or frequently asked questions on their websites.

Here we list organisations that can provide advice in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or across the UK.

UK-wide organisations providing social care advice

Age UK provides information and advice about money, care, health and housing. 

Carers UK offers advice about social care issues affecting carers and the people they care for.

Challenging Behaviour Foundation Family Support Service can offer social care advice when a person has a severe or profound learning disabilities (they are quite strict about this criteria). The service offers 3 telephone appointments of up to 45 minutes each per issue.

Contact a Family offers advice on social care for children across the UK with disabilities. They also have a useful guide to Direct Payments for children for people in England and Wales.

Disability Law Service offers free legal advice about social care and has a range of useful advice sheets on their website.

Mind offers advice on mental health issues. There is a general information line useful for people with medication queries and for where to get help. Their legal advice line can help with questions about being sectioned, social care and mental capacity.

Rethink gives advice on mental health issues. There is an advice line for social care issues, mental health and the criminal justice system and lots of useful factsheets.

RNIB’s legal rights service provides social care advice for blind or partially-sighted people.

Shelter can advise on social care issues involving housing such as supported living or eviction of an autistic person.

England

Advice UK is the coordinating body for independent advice centres. Advice UK don’t give advice directly but have a postcode search on their website where you can find member organisations local to you.

Child Law Advice is run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre and can advise on social care for children.

Citizens advice is a charity providing advice to the public. You can search for your local citizens advice on their website.

Disability Law Service may be able to arrange free full legal representation if you live in London and are eligible for legal help/aid.

Disability Rights UK provides a personal budget helpline to answer questions about personal budgets and the Care Act 2014.

Family Rights Group is able to advise parents involved with social services due to welfare concerns. They also have lots of useful factsheets on their website and a dedicated advocacy service for young parents (under 30). 

Law centres are non-profit organisations providing advice to local people. They tend only to exist in cities and larger towns.

Mencap Direct is an advice line offering social care advice to people with learning disabilities.

MS Society's legal officer provides advice on social care.

Northern Ireland

Advice NI lists local independent advice centres.

Citizens advice is a charity providing advice to the public. You can search for your local citizens advice on their website.

Law Centre Northern Ireland is a non-profit organisation providing advice to local people.

Mencap Direct is an advice line offering social care advice to people with learning disabilities.

Scotland

Advice UK is the coordinating body for independent advice centres. Advice UK don’t give advice directly but have a postcode search on their website where you can find member organisations local to you.

Citizens advice is a charity providing advice to the public. You can search for your local citizens advice on their website.

Govern Law Service has a useful list of advice services.

Scottish Child Law Centre can offer advice on children’s social care law.

Wales

Advice UK is the coordinating body for independent advice centres. Advice UK don’t give advice directly but have a postcode search on their website where you can find member organisations local to you.

Citizens advice is a charity providing advice to the public. You can search for your local citizens advice on their website

Family Rights Group is able to advise parents involved with social services due to welfare concerns. They also have lots of useful factsheets on their website and a dedicated advocacy service for young parents (under 30). 

Mencap Direct is an advice line offering social care advice to people with learning disabilities.

MS Society's legal officer provides advice on social care.

 

Last reviewed 7 July 2017