A parent carer, like all carers, is entitled to a Carer’s Assessment to find out what help they need and how these needs can be met. In the case of parent carers, the Assessment is known as a Parent Carers Needs Assessment. An assessment should mean support and help for you as a carer, and recognition of your role in your child’s life.
Who is eligible?
Surrey County Council has a duty to assess parent carers on the appearance of need, or where a parent requests an assessment.
Who carries out the assessment?
Assessments are carried out by social workers from Surrey County Council Children’s Services team. Action for Carers staff can advise and support you.
When are they carried out?
As a parent you can ask for a separate Carers’s Assessment. However, in many situations, it’s likely that the assessment will be combined with the one for your child, and done by the same person at the same time. They will talk to you, your family, your children (as far as they are able to give their views); and other people who know your family, eg school teacher, GP.
What should be covered?
The assessment must look at:
- Whether you, the parent, have needs for support and what those needs are
- You, the parent’s wellbeing
- whether it is appropriate for you to provide, or continue to provide, care for your disabled child, in light of your needs for support, other needs and wishes
- the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child cared for, and any other child you have.
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 make sure these are discussed. 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.
What happens afterwards?
The findings and decisions will be put in a report, called a ‘care plan’, describing the support you need, and how Surrey County Council, and other statutory and voluntary organisations can help you. You will receive a copy, and the plan should be reviewed regularly to be kept up to date.
How Action for Carers is helping parent carers
We received feedback from parent carers that some of them were having difficulties in getting their Assessments (early 2020). Following this, we spoke to Surrey County Council’s Children with Disabilities Team Manager to discuss the issue. As a result, Action for Carers are now contributing to whole-team training on Carers’ Assessments for the Children with Disabilities Team. In the training we outline the statutory duty to carry out Parent Carer Assessments, whether or not the child being cared for is eligible for their services.
We’ve also clarified a clear pathway of referral for parent carers to get their Assessments.
Additionally, we have agreed with SCC, that we (Action for Carers) can support parent carers in any face-to-face meetings with the Children with Disabilities Team. And of course, we also support carers to help you achieve what you need, following your Assessment. So please, contact us on 0303 040 1234 (email CIC@actionforcarers.org.uk) if you need this support, or any advice at all on Assessments. We are here to help.