Young Carers Assessments in England

Young Carers Assessments in England

Young carers have a right to an assessment of their needs separate from the needs of the person they care for. Assessments must be requested and young carers have to be providing or intending to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis.

Young people talking

What rights do young carers currently have to assessment?

Young carers have a right to an assessment of their needs separate from the needs of the person they care for (Carers Recognition and Services Act 1995 and Carers Equal Opportunities Act 2004).

Assessments must be requested and young carers have to be providing or intending to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis.

Where appropriate, young carers are also entitled to assessment as a child in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Proposed new rights to assessment

Proposed new rights to assessment from April 2015 (Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014) include:

  • All young carers under the age of 18 will have a right to an assessment regardless of who they care for, what type of care they provide or how often they provide it.
  • A young carer has the right to an assessment based on the appearance of need – which means that young carers will no longer have to request an assessment or be undertaking a ‘regular and substantial’ amount of care.
  • An assessment can still be requested but should also be offered.
  • Local authorities must take a whole family approach to assessing and supporting adults so that young carer’s needs are identified when undertaking an adult or adult carer’s needs assessment.

Local authorities should ensure that adult’s and children’s social services work together to ensure assessments are effective.