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Hoarding & the Law 14 June 2022

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Date, Time & Location

Apr 25, 2023, 7:00 PM – 7:05 PM

via Zoom

About the Event

Most mental health and social work professionals have encountered a client with a serious hoarding problem – someone who has accumulated items to the point that it is impacting significantly on their life and/or upon other people, but who is resistant to any attempt to declutter their home. These problems tend to be long- standing, but because they are not generally seen as a ‘crisis’ they do not usually receive the concerted, multidisciplinary attention that they need. Even though the Care Act 2014 now includes hoarding under the heading of ‘abuse and neglect’, it still tends to be left to the case worker to try to find a way forward, often in the face of fierce resistance from the individual who claims they want to be left alone. Many professionals are unclear what they are legally able to do, and even whether they should be attempting to intervene at all.

This one-day interactive course for mental health and social care professionals reviews the different manifestations of hoarding and the possible origins of this behaviour, and then considers a range of possible responses under the law and where each one might be appropriate. The course does not aim to provide a ‘magic wand’ to solve what are often intractable problems, nor to look in detail at therapeutic approaches, but rather to equip participants with a clear understanding of when intervention is justified and of the potential legal ways forward. It also gives participants the opportunity to share their own strategies and successes in hoarding cases.

The course will cover the following key topics:

  • What is ‘hoarding’, and how it relates to self-neglect generally
  • The diversity of hoarding behaviour and its possible causes
  • The role of adult safeguarding under the Care Act 2014
  • Whether intervention can be justified in the context of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Scope for use of the Mental Health Act, including guardianship
  • How the Mental Capacity Act can help
  • When it is appropriate to use environmental health law

The course will be delivered by Simon Foster

Simon is a freelance legal consultant and trainer. A former local authority solicitor, he was previously head of the legal unit at Mind. In 2004-5 he helped redraft the Mental Health Act Code of Practice and in 2009 he worked on the Ordinary Residence guidance for the Department of Health. From 2011-12 he was interim Head of Legal Support Services at Sense, the deafblind charity. Simon has also taught social work students at South Bank & Middlesex Universities, and LLM students at Queen Mary University of London.

Includes all course materials and a certificate. Course access details will be emailed direct to delegate(s) upon completion of your booking.  If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email  or call 07341 277487.

Are you a Local Authority, NHS Trust or CCG ?

If you are a Local Authority, NHS Trust or CCG and require an invoice please email for a booking form


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