The Care Act ensures that for the first time carers are recognised in law in the same way as those they care for.
If you help another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day to day life, then you are a carer. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally or through a voluntary organisation.
What does the Care Act say about carers?
- Carers of adults are now entitled to an assessment of needs regardless of the needs of the person they care for
- The assessment will look at how caring affects your life, will help you work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family, and what could help you with your caring responsibilities
- Your general wellbeing should be at the heart of the assessment
- To establish your needs and determine your eligibility for support we will carry out a carer's assessment
- We will also look at what contribution information, advice and preventative services could make to your wellbeing
You will be eligible for support if:
- Your needs as a carer arise as a result of providing necessary care for an adult
- Your physical or mental health is deteriorating or is at risk of doing so or
- There is likely to be a significant impact your wellbeing
If you are eligible for support we will then facilitate a support plan to meet those needs.
The Care Act does not deal with assessment and support for young carers, but does include the requirement to take a whole family approach to assessment, to ensure that young people do not undertake inappropriate caring responsibilities.
For young carers in transition (i.e. turning 18) or for adults caring for a young person turning 18, there will also be a right to an assessment. There must be continuity and the timing of the assessment must allow time to plan to meet any support needs.