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The Care Act 2014 introduced legal rights for Carers. Regulations under the Care Act set out that an ‘assessment of need’ must be offered to all adults who undertake an informal/unpaid caring role to ensure that the needs of the whole family are considered.


Previously, Carers didn't have a legal right to receive support, although local authorities could provide support at their discretion. This meant that the ability to have an assessment and access a range of support varied depending on where you lived.


The Care Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a Carer's need for support. This replaced the law which said the Carer must be providing 'a substantial amount of care on a regular basis' to qualify for an assessment.

This means more Carers are now able to have an assessment. In Cumbria, local Carer Support Organisations, will assess whether the Carer has needs and what those needs may be on behalf of the local authority. This assessment will consider the impact of caring on the Carer.


It will also consider the things a Carer wants to achieve in their own day-to-day life as well as other important issues, such as whether the Carer:

•         is able or willing to carry on caring

•         is employed or wants to work or study

•         or would like to do more socially

 

The Care Act does not deal with the assessment of people under the age of 18 who care for others. However, Young Carers can be supported under the law relating to children. The Children and Families Act gives Young Carers (and Parent Carers) similar rights to assessment as other Carers have under the Care Act.

  • Adult Carers
    Adult Carers care for other adults over the age of 18. This includes adults caring for their adult children.
  • Young Carers
    Young Carers are children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 who provide regular and on-going care and/or emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or has an addiction.
  • Parent Carers
    Parent Carers are those caring for a disabled child or young person under the age of 18. Parents will often see themselves primarily as parents, however their child will have additional care needs and may be entitled to additional services.
  • Working Carers
    Working Carers are people in full or part-time employment, who also provide care for another person. Supporting Carers to remain in work can bring considerable benefits to Carers themselves, employers and the wider economy.
  • Sandwich Carers
    Sandwich Carers have more than one caring responsibility; for example, Carers could be caring for two family members, such as an elderly relative and a dependent child or a spouse (Carers UK 2012).
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