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The Children Act (1989)

The important principles of this act include:

  • The welfare of the child is considered paramount (the most important thing) in any decisions relating to them. This is known as the paramouncy principle
  • Wherever possible, a child should be cared for and brought up by their own family
  • The parents of a child 'in need' should be given help and support to bring up their children, should be given in partnership with the parents, should be appropriate to the child's identified needs and be appropriate to the child's race, culture, religion and language
  • Children in danger should be kept safe and protected by effective intervention
  • Children should be consulted about decisions affecting their future and should be kept informed about what happens to them
  • Parents continue to have parental responsibility for their childen even when their children are not living with them, should be kept informed about everything concerning the child
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The Mental Health Act (1983)

  • The sectioning process can only be carried out by qualified psychiatrists, or in limited circumstances by registered Mental Health Nurses, whose requests to detain a patient must by supported by an Approved Social Worker
  • The Act limits the length of time that a person can be detained, and provides individuals who are detained with the rights to appeal against their detention under a section
  • People who wish to appeal against their sectioning can apply for a hearing of their case to the Mental Health Review Tribunal. This consists of a panel of independent practitioners and lay people who have the power to rescring a section and discharge the person

People experiencing a mental disorder are vulnerable and may not be in a position to make decisions that are in their best interest or be able to assert their rights

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Disbility Discrimination Act (1995)

This act was passed to end long-standing discrimination aganist disabled people in:

  • Employment
  • Access to goods, facilities and services
  • The management, buying or renting of land or property
  • Education

Since 1999, service providers had to make 'reasonable adjustments' for disabled people, including making adjustments to physical premises to overcome physical barriers to access

Care organisations and practitioner working with disabled people now have to ensure that they work in ways that respect the rights of all disabled people

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The Human Rights Act (1998)

Care clients have:

  • Right to liberty
  • Right to respect for private and family life
  • Right to marry and start a family
  • Right to freedom of thought and expression
  • Right to life
  • Right to freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Right to enjoy and protect own possesions
  • Right to freedom from unfair discrimination

It entitles people resident in the UK to seek redress for infringements of their human rights by a 'public authority'

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NHS and Community Care Act (1990)

Introduced an 'internal market': state became an enabler rather than a main provider of access to statutory and non-statutory services, boosted the role of private and voluntary sectors in the UK

The idea of community care was that people with chronic/long-term care needs would be provided with sufficient support to live in their own homes or at least in a supported 'homely' or domesticated setting

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