If you support someone, be that a family member, a friend or neighbour then are entitled to request a free carers assessment from your local authority.
Getting a carers assessment is often the most important step to take if you need support in your caring role as this looks at you, your needs and what can help you. It’s an opportunity to record the impact caring has on your life and what support or services you need. The assessment will look at your physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring.
Under 18s do this through a Young Carer’s Assessment, and for parent carers of a child under 18 the situation is different too. Carers ages 16 and 17 are also entitled to a separate Transition Assessment, as their support needs change as they approach adulthood.
There are lots of different types of support you could be entitled to, including:
Councils are advised not to charge carers for support provided to them, but some will give you a financial assessment to work out what you can afford to pay. They should never charge for care and support provided for the person you care for.
The first thing to do is to call your local social care team and request one yourself, or request one by the clinician treating the person you care for if they are currently receiving a service. If you are a parent carer you will need to request a Parent Carer Needs Assessment. Find out more in the links below:
Parent Carer Needs Assessment – Bedford Borough (you can request the assessment through the form)
Carer link workers
If you are caring for someone with a severe mental illness (SMI) and they are being supported by one of the community mental health teams (CMHT), our carer link workers can support you by completing a carers assessment with some ongoing support to help you maintain your own wellbeing.
The first thing to do is to collect all the relevant information you’ll need:
It’s also good to have a think about the below things beforehand
The assessor will discuss how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs. They should cover:
Be honest and realistic about your caring role. If you put on a brave face or play down any difficulties, you could miss out on help and support.
After the assessment your local council will work out whether your needs are eligible for support. If so, they will create a support plan for you. They might provide you with care and support directly, or provide it to the person you care for.
If you’re not eligible for support, they must still give you information and advice on where you can go for help.
If the person you are caring for is struggling to cope by themselves, you can arrange a Needs Assessment from their local council.
The assessment will look at both their physical, mental and emotional needs. They might need help to get dressed or just an extra stair rail, but they also find out what’s important to the carer, such as them being able to carry on working or volunteering, or being able to meet friends.
A trained person will chat to them about their needs and the sort of help they could benefit from.