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Increasing independence: supporting you to help yourself

Help making decisions

The law says we need to assume that anyone aged 16 or over can make decisions for themselves, with support if needed, unless we have evidence they cannot do this. If you are not able to make your own decisions and we have to take action on your behalf, we will only do this if it is in your best interests. If a best-interest decision is needed, we will discuss your needs with anyone who has a valid power of attorney. This means someone who is legally allowed to make specific decisions for you and act on your behalf. If the Court of Protection has authorised someone to act on your behalf, we will work closely with that person to make sure that any decisions that are made about your care and support are in your best interests.

Are you caring for someone?

Carers look after family, partners or friends who need help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. They do not get paid for the care they provide, and they do not always live with the person they care for. You have a legal right to be recognised as a carer. So, if you think you are caring for someone who could not manage without your help, please get in touch with our Adults’ CarePoint to see if we can help. Please see our contact details on the 'Contact us' page. Also see ‘Family and friend carers’.

Does a young person under the age of 18 give you regular support?

If yes, you or the young person can contact our Young Carers Service for information, advice and support. Please see the 'Useful contacts' page for their contact details.

Areas we are not directly responsible for

We are committed to helping people find the support that best meets their needs, and our staff will offer advice and help to everyone living in West Sussex. However, there are some things we do not do. If this is the case, there are other organisations that can help you.

  • State benefits
    The Department for Work and Pensions deals with state benefits. Please see the 'Useful contacts' page for their contact details. However, we do have staff who are benefits advisers and can help make sure that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Housing
    Housing includes services such as organising council or housing-association homes or supporting people who are homeless. Your local district or borough council in West Sussex usually deals with this.
  • Health services
    Health services are generally provided directly by GP practices, community health services, and hospitals. You can find information about counselling services by visiting the Counselling Directory website.
  • Legal advice
    Free legal advice is available through your local branch of Citizens Advice, who can also tell you how to get legal aid from solicitors, and from the community legal advice website.


Last updated: 09 May 2024