What is a carer's assessment?
A carer's assessment is a straightforward process and usually takes place as part of a discussion. The assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life, and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family.
Your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will be at the heart of this assessment, and it will help to decide what care and support you need, and how much help the local authority can give you. It will explore the impact that caring may be having on you, and help to decide which support would be best to meet your needs.
A carer's assessment is NOT a test of your caring abilities. It is only about how you can be supported in your vital caring role.
How does it take place?
The assessment can take place over the telephone, or it might be a face to face meeting. All relevant information will be written down and agreed in a document called a Support Plan.
The assessment might be an individual assessment for yourself, or it might be a combined assessment of yourself and the person you care for. In some situations a whole family assessment may be undertaken. A combined or family assessment will take place where everyone agrees that that is the best thing to do.
The Carers UK website provides detailed advice on all of the issues which you might expect a social worker to consider with you as part of a carer's assessment.
What happens after an assessment?
There are a number of things that could happen as a result of an assessment depending on what needs are identified as part of the discussion.
It may be that we can provide information and advice to meet your current needs, or it might be agreed that the best support would be to signpost you to a local organisation who would be able to help you.
If your needs meet the national eligibility criteria, it may mean that you will need some help from the local authority. This could be a direct payment to spend on the things that would help you with your caring role. It could also be practical support like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break. All of this will be discussed with you as part of the support planning.
How to request an assessment
You can arrange for a carer's assessment by contacting Essex County Council Adult Social Care on 0345 603 7630.
If you are a Parent Carer of a disabled child under 18 you have a right to carer's assessment if the Children and Young People with Disabilites Service does not fully take account of your needs. Once your child turns 18 you will be considered an Adult Carer, and will be entitled to an Adult (unpaid) Carer's Assessment.
If you are under 18 and are looking after someone then you are also eligible for a carer's assessment. For more information see the Young Carers and Request a Young Carer's Assessment pages.
Other information and advice
Some FAQs about Carers' Assessments can be found on the Support to Look After Someone page.
The Independent Age website provides a guide called Carers: What Support Is Available.
Legislation.gov.uk. contains further details about the national eligibility requirements for receiving support as a carer.
You can find out more about local support available to carers on the Carers Advice and Support Organisations page.