10 Assessment of carer’s needs for support
This clause creates a single duty to undertake a “carer’s assessment”. This is comparable to the duty in clause 9. The aim of the assessment is to determine whether the carer has support needs and what those needs may be. A “carer” is defined as any adult who is caring, or intends to care, for another adult. This would not include anyone who cares for someone as part of their employment or as voluntary work. However, the local authority may still assess such a carer if it considers that under the particular circumstances there is a reason to carry out the assessment, for instance, where someone who had previously been an unpaid family carer begins to receive some payment for their caring role, and so may not otherwise be entitled to a carer’s assessment.
This duty 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. However, the new duty does not require (as the previous provision did) that the carer must be providing “substantial care on a regular basis”.
(1) Where it appears to a local authority that a carer may have needs for support (whether currently or in the future), the authority must assess—
(a) whether the carer does have needs for support (or is likely to do so in the future), and
(b) if the carer does, what those needs are (or are likely to be in the future).
(2) An assessment under subsection (1) is referred to in this Part as a “carer’s assessment”.
(3) “Carer” means an adult who provides or intends to provide care for another adult (an “adult needing care”); but see subsections (7) and (8).
(4) A carer’s assessment must include an assessment of—
(a) whether the carer is able, and will continue to be able, to provide care for the adult needing care, and
(b) whether the carer is willing, and will continue to be willing, to do so.
(5) A local authority, in carrying out a carer’s assessment, must have regard to—
(a) whether the carer works or wishes to do so, and
(b) whether the carer is participating in or wishes to participate in education, training or recreation.
(6) A local authority, in carrying out a carer’s assessment, must so far as it is feasible to do so consult—
(a) the carer, and
(b) any person whom the carer asks the authority to consult.
(7) An adult is not to be regarded as a carer if the adult provides or intends to provide care—
(a) under or by virtue of a contract, or
(b) as voluntary work.
(8) But in a case where the local authority considers that the relationship between the adult needing care and the adult providing or intending to provide care is such that it would be appropriate for the latter to be regarded as a carer, that adult is to be regarded as such (and subsection (7) is therefore to be ignored in that case).