People aged 18–64 with learning disabilities, mental health problems, and other social needs are a core part of the social care system. They make up around a third of care users accessing long-term support in England and over half of local authority spending on social care.

This analysis explores:

  • System context: What does the social care system for younger adults look like?
  • Care needs: What care needs do younger adults have and how are these changing? 
  • System performance: How well does the social care system care for younger adults and their carers? 
  • Outcomes: What outcomes do younger adults in the social care system and their unpaid carers have? 

Policies to improve and reform adult social care will not be successful unless they understand and address the needs of younger adults, who must not be forgotten in the policy debate about social care.

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