Carer’s Assessments

If you care for someone, you can have an assessment to see what might help make your life easier. This is called a Carer's Assessment. It might recommend things like:

  • someone to take over caring so you can have a break
  • gym membership and exercise classes to relieve stress
  • help with taxi fares if you don't drive
  • help with gardening and housework
  • training how to lift safely
  • putting you in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk to
  • advice about benefits for carers

Carers who provide a regular and significant amount of care for someone aged 18 or over have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer. If you have parental responsibility for a child with disabilities, you have the right to a carer's assessment. You don't need to be the child's parent. If there is more than one carer providing regular care in your household, you are both entitled to an assessment.

Local trusts must make sure all carers know they're entitled to an assessment of their needs, and must consider a carer's outside responsibilities and interests including work, study and leisure, when carrying out an assessment.

Who is a Carer’s Assessment for?

All carers aged 18 and over who the council decides may benefit from services can have a carer’s assessment. The aim is to find out whether their situation could be made better if they had information, support or services from the council. You don’t have to have an assessment if you don’t want one.

It's separate from the Care Needs Assessment the person you care for might have, but you can ask to have them both done at the same time if this is what you would prefer.

A carer's assessment is free and anyone over 18 can ask for one.

What happens at the Carer’s Assessment?

At the assessment, someone from the council will ask you questions to help them build a picture of how your caring role has an effect on different parts of your life. 

What happens after the Carer’s Assessment?

After the assessment the council should give you a written report that says what was discussed and what was decided about the council providing services. You can also ask for a copy of the report to go to the person you care for and anyone else you want.

How to get a Carer's Assessment

Contact Adult Social Care Direct at Gateshead Council and ask for a Carer's Assessment.

Your right to get support for you and your family together

What is the whole family approach?

When the council does the assessment, they have to think about supporting other people in your family. This is called a whole family approach and it is meant to build up a proper understanding of how different people in the family affect and support each other. Without that the council is missing out on the whole picture of what is going on and it’s harder to see what would help you and other family members. Sometimes, the council may decide it is better not to think about supporting everyone with the whole family approach. This should only happen when there is a good reason not to look at the family as a whole.

What is a Joint Assessment?

As part of the whole family approach your assessment may be done at the same time as an assessment of the person you care for. This is called a joint assessment. That should only happen if everyone is happy with it, including you. Even if you have a Joint Assessment you should still be able to talk separately from the other people who are involved so you can say things in private. 

Working and Caring

Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. You also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you care for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as you. Carers have the right to take unpaid time off work for dependants in an emergency. Returning to work after being a carer may have an impact on any entitlements and benefits you receive as a carer. The amount of hours you do, how much you earn and your savings will be taken into consideration.