Carers and family support

Carer’s needs assessment

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Anyone can become a carer. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are doing what anyone else would in the same situation; looking after their mother, son, or best friend and just getting on with it.

A young carer is defined as a child or young person under the age of 18 years who is providing regular on-going care and/or emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.

Carer’s assessments

Any carer who appears to have needs for support has a right to a carer’s assessment.  This means if you are a carer you can have a carer’s assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial circumstances or your level of need for support.

You can have an assessment whether or not the person you care for has had an assessment of their needs and even if they are not eligible for support you can still have an assessment.

If you and the person you care for agree, a joint assessment of both your needs can be undertaken at the same time.

How a carer’s assessment can help you

The aim of a carer’s assessment is to find out about your needs and how we may be able to help.  It can help us to understand the best way to support you to maintain your own health and wellbeing whilst balancing caring with other aspects of your life.

An assessment of carers needs is an opportunity to:

  • talk and reflect on your own needs as a carer

  • share your experience of caring and to recognise your role as a carer

  • be given information and advice

  • identify and discuss any difficulties you may have

An assessment is not about your capability to care but it will look at ways in which we can best help you in your caring role.

Am I eligible for a service?

The Care Act introduces national rules for deciding who is eligible for care and support (the national eligibility criteria for carers).

You will meet the eligibility criteria if there is likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing as a result of you caring for another person. There are three questions the assessor will have to consider in making their decision:

  • Are your needs the result of you providing necessary care?

  • Does your caring role have an effect on you?

  • Is there, or is there likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing?

If the answer to all three questions is yes, then you will have eligible needs. These questions are explained in more detail below.

Even if you are not eligible for paid services, there are still a number of support options that can be accessed.

Support planning

If the outcome of your assessment is that you are eligible to receive services you will then have your own support plan (Carers Personal Plan) developed.  The plan will then need to be agreed between you and the assessor.  The plan will outline any outcomes and actions that were recorded in your assessment.  It will also show if you are due to have any services in place and a schedule of when you will receive the service.

Please view the guides for help preparing for a carer’s assessment:

For more information or to request a carer’s assessment contact Adult Services