The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has been in force since 2007 and applies to England and Wales. It applies in part to children and young people aged 16 and 17 and in full for adults. The primary purpose of the Act is to empower, promote, support and also safeguard decision making within a legal framework. The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 will come into force in April 2022 which will bring in the Liberty Protection Safeguards. All children’s social care professionals working with or caring for young people of 16/17 must comply with the Act and therefore understanding how to apply to practice is essential.
This course is aimed at social workers who work with young people of 16/17 to gain an overview of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and to enable them to integrate it into day to day practice. The course will look at the ethos of the Act around empowerment and supported decision making, how to assess capacity and the consideration of the concept of best interests. Reference will be made to the continuum of how the Act provides a legal defence for professionals for routine decisions or interventions to provide care and treatment for young people who lack capacity, through to interventions that constitute restraint, moving through to interventions that go beyond “mere” restraint to a deprivation of liberty and what to do about it.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Understand how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 applies to children and young people of 16/17 years old and how to integrate it into day to day practice
- Examine the potential overlap between The Children Act 1989 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and explain circumstances in which each could apply with consideration of relevant up to date case law
- Examine the interplay between capacity, consent and parental responsibility
- Consider the ethical complexity of decision making and the balance between empowerment, autonomy and protection within a human and equality rights perspective
- Recognise what constitutes “mere” restraint, interventions that go beyond “mere” restraint into a deprivation of liberty and when and how to apply the appropriate statutory framework now and in the future under the Liberty Protection Safeguards