Legal Learning Sessions

Please note, following feedback from delegates and increasing demand, we have introduced the opportunity to reserve your space at all of our legal learning sessions below. There is a fee of £29 + VAT for each of the eight legal sessions.

When registering online to attend Community Care Live London you will be given the option to pre-book a place at the legal sessions. Please note entry to any legal learning sessions will only be available to those that have paid for the sessions. To view the free seminar programme please click here.

Time Information
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Understanding the law on deprivation of liberty in the community
Alex Ruck Keene, barrister, 39 Essex Street

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards only apply to care homes and hospitals, so there can be confusion around what to do if a deprivation of liberty is suspected in other settings such as someone’s own home. This session aims to help social workers know when a deprivation in the community is taking place and to outline the legal requirements. It will provide:

  • A refresher of the law in relation to deprivation of liberty and how it applies to community settings
  • Factors you need to take into account and weigh up when considering whether a person is deprived of their liberty in a community setting
  • Practical tips on making an application to the Court of Protection to authorise a deprivation of liberty, including what evidence do you need and how to gather it

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Presenting robust evidence in court
Shefali Shah, director and lead trainer, Kingsley Knight Training

An increase in proceedings means more and more social care professionals, whether from adults’ or children’s services, are at risk of having their evidence examined in court. Attend this session to learn how robust evidence can help to make you an impressive witness in court, and understand:

  • What constitutes robust evidence
  • The importance of court documents that can withstand cross-examination
  • How strong evidence can help you be an impressive witness
  • The court’s expectations of the report writer

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Best interests decision making: legal refresher
Alex Ruck Keene, barrister, 39 Essex Street

Best interests decision making is one of the core elements of practice under the Mental Capacity Act but it remains a challenging area because of evolving case law and the challenges of applying it in complex cases. This session will provide guidance on:

  • Understanding the best interests checklist and what case law says about the weight that should be applied to people’s past and present wishes and feelings
  • Best interests decision making in complex cases including those concerning contact and safeguarding
  • How to chair best interests meetings

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Working with parents with learning disabilities (SESSION FEE APPLIES)
Nadine Tilbury, policy office and senior research associate, University of Bristol

Parents who have learning disabilities are disproportionately represented in care proceedings and the courts have criticised local authorities for not following good practice guidance on working with parents with a learning disability. For example, in A Local Authority v G [2017], His Honour Judge Dancey said 'to describe the [Good Practice] Guidance as a "counsel of perfection' is to give a charter to ignore it which should be robustly challenged.' This session will cover:

  • The legal context and recent case law concerning failure to apply the principles of the 2016 good practice guidance on working with parents with a learning disability. 
  • Challenging assumptions about the parenting capacity of parents with learning disabilities and considering their ability to be good parents with the right support.
  • How children’s and adults’ services have a legal duty to work together to support families where one or both parents have a learning disability.
  • The President of the Family Division's Guidance issued 10 April 2018 - Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability.


*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

Time Information
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Section 20 accommodation: understanding the law and using it appropriately
Oliver Millington, barrister, 9 Gough Square chambers

Though the latest figures show a drop in the number of section 20 arrangements, concerns remain about how well social workers understand these arrangements and how appropriately they are used. This session will provide an overview on the law on section 20 and:

  • Explore the original principles underpinning section 20 and the breadth of ways that practitioners, families and children may encounter section 20 arrangements
  • Analyse the role and legal significance of parental consent and objection in section 20 cases
  • Identify misuses and misunderstandings of the law currently being picked up on by the courts

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Working with funding panels: putting the Care Act into practice
Peter Feldon, independent social work trainer,
Jonathan Auburn, barrister, 11KBW

There is increasing concern about funding panels overruling the professional judgments of social workers in decisions about whether the personal budget is sufficient to meet needs, and that they are working beyond the purpose they were intended for. This session will examine the legal context of making decisions about personal budgets and explore how social workers can develop ethical practice that reflects professional priorities. It will cover:

  • What the Care Act, statutory guidance and courts say about the role of funding panels
  • How funding panels work in practice
  • How to work effectively with funding constraints to achieve best outcomes for people with care and support needs
  • Defending your proposed care plan if overruled by a funding panel or budget-holder

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
What social workers need to know about disabled children and the law
Steve Broach, barrister, Monckton Chambers

A number of recent court cases have highlighted that local authorities and social workers often misunderstand what the law says about meeting the needs of disabled children and young people. In this talk you will learn:

  • The key legislation social workers need to be aware of when working with disabled children
  • Common misunderstandings and myths about what the law says about meeting the care needs of disabled children
  • The implications for social workers of the court decisions R (DAT and BNM) v West Berkshire Council and R (J and L) v LB Hillingdon

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Continuing healthcare: understanding the limits of social care provision under the Care Act
Morag Duff, independent specialist continuing healthcare consultant,

Correctly identifying the legal limits of local authority provision under the Care Act is essential to understanding when an individual is entitled to NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) and moves from a means-tested system to one that is free at the point of delivery. However, 11 years on from the introduction of national eligibility criteria, there remain huge regional variations in eligible numbers, demonstrating that this is still a challenging area for practitioners to apply the law. The recent revision of the National Framework for CHC is the latest attempt to introduce greater clarity to this difficult subject following on from a series of critical reports from stakeholders and from Parliament itself. This session will help you build your understanding of CHC by providing an analysis of recent developments in this complex area, including:

  • How the Care Act limits the health services that local authorities are permitted to provide
  • How this limit relates to the ‘primary health need’ test determining eligibility for continuing healthcare
  • The impact of changes to the National Framework and other ongoing initiatives

*Please note there is a fee of £29 +VAT to reserve your place at this session.*