About the Support With Confidence Scheme
Social care for adults is changing
Under a new national system known as Self Directed Support, Putting People First or Personalised Budgets, you can choose to get social care and support to meet your needs in a variety of ways to suit you – you can choose the kind of help you receive and who you get it from.
This means that your support will be more flexible and responsive. You can use different businesses and services in your local area to help you live as independently as possible for a long as possible, in your own home.
Even if you are funding your own care, perhaps because you are ineligible for local authority funding, flexibility and choice are key to getting the services you need.
To make the most of this opportunity you'll need more information and advice, so you can make the best choices about your care and support.
How does this scheme help?
The Support With Confidence scheme provides a list of businesses and individuals providing care and support services who have been successfully approved, demonstrating that they have undergone the appropriate training and met background checks.
The scheme will help you to select care and support businessses and Personal Assistants to safely deliver the services you need
The Support With Confidence scheme is run by a number of Local Authorities listed on this website and is a joint initiative between Trading Standards and Adult Social Care.
You may find it useful to look at your own local authority’s website to see what else they can offer and how Support With Confidence works locally. You will usually find this information in the Adult Social Care pages
If your Local Authority is not listed here, please contact your local County or City Council to find out what they may be able to do for you in your area. However our businesses may well be able to help you anyway no matter where you live, just choose a business as local as possible
How does it work?
We make checks on each applicants background, their qualifications and experience, customer service and compliance with legal standards.
Approved scheme members are audited before they join. They agree to:
• ensure that they and their staff are properly trained for their work
• undertake any appropriate training
• submit criminal records checks and clearance
• provide references as part of their application .
• respond promptly and appropriately to customer complaints
Monitoring and feedback
Trading Standards and Adult Social Care will monitor scheme members once approved.
A key part of this monitoring is through the feedback you give us, so please complete the feedback form below to tell us what you thought of the service you received from scheme members.
Feedback form – Support With Confidence
Who can take part?
We are inviting applications from individuals and businesses providering care and support services delivered in the home or community. This can include:
•Personal Assistants (where people use their social care funding or their own money to engage people to support them)
•Home or Domiciliary Care Agencies
•cleaning and housework
•meal preparation or cooking in the home
•daytime opportunities, such as leisure and recreational activities
•community and mobility equipment and adaptation services
•home repair and maintenance
•taxi or transport services
•Independent Support Planners and Brokers (people who can help you plan, find and arrange your support)
•any other care and support service provided in the home or community
Support With Confidence requires that the people actually delivering the services produce an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate and there are strict controls on who can apply for this level of check. This can mean that some individuals and businesses are legally unable to provide an enhanced disclosure even if they want to simply because the services they provide do not fall within the legal definitions
You will therefore find businesses listed on Buy With Confidence who have a different level of check, a Basic Disclosure Certificate, and who have also been approved by us.
If you are at unsure what this means, or want help in deciding whether Support With Confidence or Buy With Confidence provides the reassurance you need please contact us.
Support With Confidence – information for providers, and how to apply
Why can you have confidence in this scheme
Background checks on providers
Providers on our scheme have undergone the following checks:
•complaints history (as held by the County Council)
•an Enhanced Criminal Record Bureau Disclosure (and indicated a willingness to be registered with the ISA Vetting & Barring scheme if applicable)
•interviews and audits carried out by our staff from Trading Standards and Adult Social Care
•making sure they have received appropriate training, or checking that their qualifications are appropriate for the work that they do.
Once approved, we monitor members performance including checking your own reports, sent through our feedback form. These let us monitor members and make sure they maintain the standards we all expect.
Training, qualifications and certification
Your local authority may offer a full six-day induction course for someone who has no health and social care qualifications and wants to become a Personal Assistant. The course covers the following modules:
•principles of care
•physical and emotional security
•moving and handling
We may also provide training for businesses, either through face-to-face contact or using online course modules. With online training, we ask to see the certificate they print out after successful completion of the course.
Businesses undertake training in the following areas:
•Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
•Enhanced Customer Care
•Equalities & Diversity
Alternatively we will expect businesses and PA’s to demonstrate that they and all staff are properly recruited, trained and equipped to deliver the services provided. Code of conduct and terms and conditions of membership
Approved members all agree to comply with our Code of Conduct: Support With Confidence – Code of Conduct
The code of Conduct forms part of the terms and conditions of membership.
When businesses and individuals apply to join the scheme they must sign to say that they will comply with the terms and conditions. We then carry out an audit to ensure that they are able to do so. How can I trust your records? Are they up to date?
Before joining our scheme, every member or business is interviewed and vetted.
We closely monitor any complaints made to Adult Social Care or Trading Standards.
If we have any serious concerns, we can remove providers instantly from the list.
For more about how we deal with any complaints received about a Support With Confidence provider see below. Why don't you show some addresses and photos?
We only show the addresses of registered businesses. Where a personal assistant, for example, is employed by their clients it is not appropriate to publish online their personal details such as a home address.
Photos are added at the discretion of the member. What is a Personal Assistant?
A Personal Assistant works for people who need social care, helping with everyday things like shopping, or dog walking, or providing more personal care such as washing and getting dressed. They can come from all walks of life.
Under the Support With Confidence scheme, they agree to abide by a Code of Conduct. This states that approved Personal Assistants meet standards about the rights of their clients to independence, confidentiality and safety. The Code of Conduct followed by Approved members
In order to be approved as a member of Support With Confidence, all PAs will have been trained in at least the following areas:
• principles of care
• food safety
• infection control
• physical and emotional security
• moving and handling
• first aid
• health promotion
• communication skills
For more about the skills and qualities that make a good PA, see our page about becoming a Personal Assistant
What you need to know if you employ someone to help in your home
‘Contract type' and the responsibilities that go with hiring a regular support worker
In our Support With Confidence listings, we may include information about the type of contract under which each provider is paid. This is for information only and the actual arrangement is entirely for you and the businessbor individual to decide. However In most cases you'll be paying invoices in just the same way that you normally pay for other goods or services, but there can be important implications in the type of provider you choose particularly if you need to become an employer:
When you use a provider listed as a Business, you'll most likely be paying for services provided by the hour, by the job, whether on a regular basis or not. You simply pay the bills as they come in and have no responsibility for the sick pay, holidays or national insurance payments of the people who come to work for you. These are taken care of by the business which employs them.
If your provider is listed as self–employed, then as for a Business, they are responsible for their own tax affairs, holidays and so on. Again, you simply pay the bills as and when needed.
If your provider is listed as Employed, or you decide that you want to employ someone to deliver your care this makes a significant difference to your relationship with them and your own personal responsibilities. Here, as your employee they depend on you for a proportion of their regular income, and will be entitled to sick pay, holidays and a notice period for example. For tax and insurance purposes, it's very important that you are properly informed, and follow the correct procedures with regards to HMRC.
Please note: the Contract Type shown for each of the providers in our database is not necessarily 'set in stone'. In practice, it is the support you need, when you need it, and how you pay for it, that determines whether you can engage a provider on a self-employed basis, or become their employer.
Please follow the advice provided by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs)
Their website says that it is not a matter of choice whether a worker is employed or self-employed – although there is no definition in law. It depends on your circumstances.
Their site has detailed guidance, together with an online tool called an ‘Employment Status Indicator' which anyone can use. Don't miss the sections on the following link entitled ‘Employed or self-employed' and ‘Employer's obligations':
What is an Independent Support Planner and Broker?
Some people are happy organising their own support, while others might want help. Often this might be from family members, friends or a social worker.
Some independent agencies businesses or organisations can also help you to find and arrange the support you might need. There may be a charge for these services.
Our database lists those who have been approved by the scheme to provide this type of advice. The approval is solely for the activities of the planner or broker and it might be that they will recommend a business or individual who is not a Support with Confidence member. You should discuss with the planner or broker what checks they do on the people they recommend and what they do to make sure that you will get the services you need
For example, they can help by:
• finding out what support is available, coordinating that support, and helping you to manage your money
• helping you to work with the local council and other organisations
• helping you to find other possible sources of funding and benefits, and complete the necessary forms
• helping to design a support plan that will make things happen.
If you're having trouble managing at home, why not contact us to discuss your circumstances and find out what help you might be eligible for.
Support with Confidence – contact details and feedback
Your feedback is important
The feedback you give us forms a key part of how we monitor members of the scheme.
So please do use the feedback form below to tell us what you thought of the service you received. Are there any problems you'd like to draw to our attention, any suggestions for improvement, or praise where it's due:
How to make a complaint
If you need to make a complaint, because you haven't had a satisfactory response from the person concerned, or would rather talk to someone else, please get in touch with your Local Authority’s Complaints Unit. You can contact them by phone, email, letter or text message, whichever is easiest for you.
The contact details for your local authority will be on their website or simply telephone their main contact number
When you complain, we will make sure that we understand the issues and find out what you want to happen because of the complaint. We will also get the right information to assess the seriousness of the complaint and agree a plan with you about who will look into you complaint and by when. We will also tell you when you can expect a final reply from us.
Complaints which involve your personal safety
These complaints will be investigated as a matter of urgency by Adult Social Care.
In the event of a serious breach of the code of conduct the provider may be removed with immediate effect from the website and suspended from the scheme pending investigation.
If the allegations are substantiated, the provider will be permanently removed from the scheme and appropriate referrals will be made to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Please contact your Local Authority directly.
Limitations of the Support With Confidence scheme
Where Trading Standards South East provides details of companies, firms or individuals in business directories or other pages on this site the description of the goods or services they provide is based upon information supplied by them. Trading Standards South East cannot confirm that they are legally entitled or professionally qualified to carry on a particular trade, business or profession and accepts no liability for any mistakes or inaccuracies in their details. You should check any information obtained from the website before you act upon it