What is a Carer’s Assessment?
A Carer’s Assessment is for carers over 18 who look after another adult (over 18), who is disabled, ill or elderly.
(Under 18s can be assessed, but this is through a Young Carers Assessment, and for parent carers of a child under 18 the situation is different too. More information below.)
It’s an opportunity to record the impact caring has on your life and what support or services you need. The assessment will look at your physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring.
What’s the point?
If the Council agree you have needs because of caring, they have to draw up a plan saying how the needs can be met. This could be in a variety of ways, including help from social care, paid services, and support from voluntary services and charities.
If you need paid services, they will carry out a financial assessment to work out whether you have to make a contribution, and if so much. Sometimes you or the person you’re looking after can request Direct Payments – to enable you to buy services to meet your agreed needs.
Who can get one?
You’re entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial situation or your own level of need for support. You don’t necessarily have to live with the person you are looking after or be caring full-time. You may be juggling work and care and this is having a big impact on your life.
You can have an assessment whether or not the person you are looking after has had a needs assessment, or if the local council have decided they are not eligible for support.
If you and the person you are looking after agree, a combined assessment of both your needs can be undertaken at the same time. And there will be a ‘whole family approach’ – considering how your caring role affects others in the family too.
You can ask for a Carer’s Assessment at any time. And you can ask for it to be done again if your caring role changes.
How do I get an assessment?
Ring us on 0303 040 1234 and any of our Carer Advisors can refer you. You can also ring your local social care team and request one yourself, or complete one online or request one by the clinician treating the person you care for if they are currently receiving a service.
SCC and Surrey and Borders NHS have a booklet to help you get the best out of your assessment and think through what you might want to talk about.
Assessments can be done by phone, or if your caring situation is complex, at home if you wish. Your assessment should cover:
- your caring role and how it affects your life and wellbeing
- your health – physical, mental and emotional issues
- your feelings and choices about caring
- work, study, training, leisure; as well as housing
- relationships, social activities and your goals
- planning for emergencies
There’s more information about the Carer’s Assessment on Surrey County Council’s webpages for carers.
Ways to complete the form
- You can complete a Carer’s Needs Assessment form by yourself, or with help from family/friends.
- Or you can ask us, Action for Carers, to help you. Call us on 0303 040 1234 or email CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk. You can also text us (SMS) on 07714 075993.
- Or you can ring Surrey County Council’s Adult Social Care on 0300 200 1005.
- If the person you care for is known to secondary mental health services, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can also assist in completing a Carer’s Needs Assessment, call them on 0300 5555 222 or go to sabp.nhs.uk
If you find after your assessment that Surrey County Council haven’t properly recognised the impact caring is having on your life, please ask us to support you.
Carer’s Assessment for parent carers
Parent carers have a right to a separate Carers Needs assessment, as for the carers of adults. In practice, however, your own needs for a break may be considered in conjunction with your child’s assessment by Surrey County Council Children’s services, if eligible, under the Children Act.
It’s important to ensure your needs in relation to employment, training, education, leisure, maintaining relationships, social/ family life are discussed with you and taken into account when planning any package of care for your child, so please draw this to the attention of your social worker. If you are entitled to social care support, any package of care provided by the local authority should include a break if you have indicated this is something you need.
Carer’s Assessment for young carers
If you’re a young carer (aged under 18), Surrey County Council has a duty to assess ‘on the appearance of need’ – in other words without a ‘request’ having to be made. They also have a more general duty to ‘take reasonable steps’ to identify young carers.
Since April 2015 rights to assessment for young carers state:
- all young carers under the age of 18 have a right to an assessment regardless of who they care for, what type of care they provide or how often they provide it;
- as a young carer you can request an assessment, but Surrey County Council should also offer it to you;
- local authorities must take a whole family approach to assessing and supporting adults so that young carers’ needs are identified when undertaking an adult or adult carer’s needs assessment;
- local authorities should ensure that adult and children’s social care services work together to ensure assessments are effective.
To find out more about assessment as a young carer, give our Surrey Young Carers team a call on 01483 568 269, or email SYC@actionforcarers.org.uk