What is a young carer’s assessment? When must one be done?
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A young carer’s assessment aims to find out if it is appropriate for the young carer to provide care for the person who needs the care. It is carried out by a social worker in children’s services.
Section 17 Children Act 1989 places a duty on children’s services in England to take “reasonable steps” to identify young carers in their area. This means they shouldn’t just wait for a young person or their family to come forward.
The duty to assess the needs of a young carer comes about if:
- A local children’s services department identifies a young person who may need support due to their caring responsibilities
- A young carer or their parent asks the local authority to assess their need for support
- An assessment of a young carer has already been done but there has been a change in circumstances. This could be change relating to the young carer. Or it could be a change in the circumstances of the person they care for.
Do children’s services have to assess all young carers?
But children’s services do not have to assess all young carers. If the young carer does not appear to have support needs they don’t have to carry out an assessment.
If an assessment has already been done a new assessment only has to be carried out where:
- An assessment has been carried out and:
- the young carers needs have changed, or
- the needs of the person they care for have changed or
- there has been a change in circumstance.