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Care Act 2014

Section 10 – Assessment of a carer’s needs for support

97.This section creates a single duty to assess carers. It requires a local authority to carry out an assessment, known as a “carer’s assessment”, where it appears that a carer may have needs for support at that time, or in the future. The aim of the assessment is to determine whether a carer has support needs either currently or, possibly, in the future and what those needs may be.

98.The duty to assess a carer replaces existing duties in relation to the assessment of adult carers in section 1(1) of the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and section 1 of the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000.

99.A carer is defined as an adult who provides or intends to provide care for another adult. The section makes clear care includes the provision of practical or emotional support. This definition is subject to the proviso that those who care on a contractual or volunteering basis are not considered to be carers for the purposes of this Part. However, if the local authority thinks it is appropriate for such an individual (even if there is a contractual or volunteering element to the relationship) to be treated as a carer, then it may do so.

100.The duty to assess applies regardless of any views the local authority may have about the level of a carer’s needs for support or the financial resources of either the person needing care or the carer. The local authority must involve the carer and any other person nominated by the carer, when carrying out a carer’s assessment.

101.A carer’s assessment must consider certain important factors. These include the carer’s ability and willingness to provide care and support, both now and in the future; the impact of caring on the carer’s wellbeing; and the outcomes that the carer wishes to achieve in day to day life. In carrying out the assessment the local authority must also have regard to whether a carer works or wishes to work, or participates in, or would like to participate in, education, training or recreation.

102.Subsection (8) requires the local authority to consider whether and to what extent matters other than the provision of care and support could help the carer reach the outcomes they want to achieve. It also requires local authorities to consider whether the carer would benefit from its prevention or information and advice services or any other services that might be available in the community.

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