Under this Act the needs of both the cared-for individual and any care provided by a carer are assessed. These are then taken into consideration before providing any care services. A complaints procedure also exists.
The Children’s Hearing System
The Social Work (Scotland) Act also established the Children’s Hearings System (CHS) (Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011), which was unique to Scotland. This changed the way that children were dealt with; problems relating to children were now dealt with holistically rather than the child being put before the court system and punished as was previously the case.
Provision of services
The local authority does not have to provide actual services itself but it does need to ensure that individuals can access services. There have been many amendments to this act as the years have progressed. These amendments have taken into consideration the views of service users and carers, in line with anti-discriminatory practice and changes in other legislation.
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The main features of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
The main features of the Act are:
- the local authority to promote social welfare;
- to have available advice, guidance and assistance for people in need;
- to provide or secure suitable services for people in need, statutory, independent or voluntary or by individuals managing the direct payment scheme (as per Community Care Direct Payments Act 1996);
- the duty to assess a person’s needs and take account of their views;
- the entitlement for carers to ask for an assessment of needs too - as a result of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002, the cared-for person does not need to be in receipt of care services;
- the care and opinions of carers need to be taken into consideration;
- the establishment of the Children’s Hearing system.
Despite coming into force so long ago, the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 has largely been kept current through amendments and by working in conjunction with other pieces of legislation, such as the Community Care Scotland Act 2002, Regulation of Care Scotland Act 2001, Children’s Act (Scotland) 1995 and Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.
Prior to the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, The National Assistance Act 1948 was in force. Some sections of this Act can still apply, for example, the power to remove a vulnerable person from a residence, if their health and safety or wellbeing are threatened. It also gives the right of local authorities to charge for some of the services they provide.
There has been a wealth of amendments and changes to the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 as developments in care practice and rights of service users and their carers or relatives have been recognised. Joint approaches and collaboration between statutory, independent and voluntary sectors have resulted in additional legislation and responsibilities in the way care is provided.
always check for the most recent amendment to this act.
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