updated on 06 July 2020
The first charity in the UK to provide legal aid to the social care sector has been launched in partnership with leading City law firms.
Access Social Care will support individuals who need access to social care but cannot afford to pay. The charity has partnered with leading law firms including Baker McKenzie, Fieldfisher, Orrick, Shearman & Sterling and Slaughter and May, as well as expert barristers in the field of social care.
The new charity was formed from a project delivered by the Royal Mencap Society. The need for social care is acute, with 95% of UK councils indicating that they are not confident that they will be able to meet their care obligations in 2020 due to years of austerity measures. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus Act has suspended duties enforced in the Care Act, placing those in need of social care in a vulnerable position.
Kari Gerstheimer, chief executive of Access Social Care said: “Without access to justice, the right to social care might as well not exist. Access Social Care intends to change this by becoming a catalyst for the way the legal system and social care operates. We are grateful to our founders, Mencap and The Central England Law Centre for supporting us on our journey. We know that we can change people’s lives for the better by connecting our legal expertise with our member organisations and families when they need it most.”