As part of social service's community care, carers are entitled to their own assessment called a carer's assessment.
This assessment looks at the specific needs of the carer as well as the person they look after. Social services can then decide if they are going to provide support for the carer, and if so which services will help them to maintain their own health and continue to provide the best possible care, at a level they are happy with.
The carer's assessment is separate to the assessment received by the person you care for and your family. However, these assessments may be held at the same time. If this happens and you feel that your needs have not been fully considered, you can ask for a separate carer's assessment.
Emotionally and physically it can be demanding, and at times you feel very alone.
Who is entitled to a carer's assessment?
You are entitled to a carer's assessment if you provide or intend to provide unpaid care for someone for ‘a substantial amount of time on a regular basis'. There is no strict definition for how much time this involves - it is up to social services to decide if you need extra support. People who entitled to a carer's assessment include:
- a parent of a disabled child
- someone who has parental responsibility for a disabled child
- someone aged 16 or older who looks after a relative, partner or a friend who needs support.
A carer may live with or away from the person they care for, and may care full time or combine their role with paid employment. They may be a ‘sandwich carer’ and have other caring responsibilities that leave them supporting two generations of people.
I am fully responsible for my daughter – her welfare, her safety and her emotional stability.
How can I get a carer's assessment?
Your local social services should notify you if they think you are entitled to a carer's assessment. However, if you think you need an assessment and have not received one you can contact your local social services department and request one yourself.
- Download a sample letter to request a carers assessment from the Carers UK website
- Download the leaflet ‘Carers' Assessments - What's in it for you?' from the Carersnet website
- Find out how to apply for a carer's assessment in your local area on the Directgov website
What if social services refuse to carry out a carer's assessment?
If social services refuse to carry out a carer's assessment but you believe you are entitled to one, you can make a complaint to your local authority. You can read about the complaints procedure later in this guide.