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Assessing a carers support needs

What is a carers’ assessment?

From the 6th April 2015, local authorities across England must ensure that carers who have an appearance of need for support are offered a carers’ assessment. A carers’ assessment is an opportunity for you to discuss with the council your needs and feelings as a carer and what support or services you need to help you continue caring.

A carers’ assessment will look at:

  • Your needs for support

  • The practical and emotional sustainability of your caring role

  • Your willingness and ability to continue to provide this support


The carers’ assessment must also look at

  • The impact of your support needs on your own

    • health & wellbeing

    • caring responsibilities you may have for a child or children or any other person you may provide care for

    • ability to work; access education or training or engage in recreational activities

  • What outcomes you wish to seek to achieve in your daily life

  • Whether support could help you achieve these outcomes

  • Whether your support network and the wider community can contribute towards meeting the outcomes the person wants to achieve

  • Whether you or the person you are caring for would benefit from preventative support or information and advice.


Carers assessment will be carried out by a trained social worker or trusted assessor* from the council's adult social care team. To discuss carers assessments or to make a referral for an assessment contact the Dudley Carers Hub on 01384 818723 or email

*a trusted assessor is someone who is not a social worker but who has been trained to carry out assessments.

:: more information on the carers' national eligibility threshold


Who can have a carers’ assessment?

Any carer who appears to have a need for support as a result of providing care to another adult should be offered an assessment by the council. You do not have to be living with the person you care for or be caring full time.

(NOTE: a person providing care through a paid contract including direct payments or voluntary work may not be classed as a carer in this situation, unless they are providing additional care outside of the paid contract)

From the 6th April 2015, as a carer you will be entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of needs for support. You are entitled to carers’ assessment whether the person you care for has had an assessment of their needs from social care services, or if they have been assessed as not being eligible for support.

The Care Act states that a carers’ assessment should be appropriate and proportionate to the needs of the carer.

If you have never had a carers assessment, within in Dudley, you will be offered a ‘carers first contact assessment’, which will give you the opportunity to discuss what support you are looking for; what care you are providing to the cared for person; the impact your caring role is having on your day to day life.

If you feel that your needs can be met through the provision of information and advice; referral to preventative services and/or carer support groups, you may not require a full carers needs assessment.

If you have previously had a carers assessment / or have had a carers first contact assessment, and you feel you may require ongoing support as your caring role is, or is likely to have an impact on your physical and mental health and/or your daily life, you are entitled to have a carers needs assessment known in Dudley as a ‘My carers needs assessment’.

If you and the person you care for agree, a combined assessment of both your needs can be undertaken at the same time.

If you care for a young person or are a young carer aged 14 – 18 years you will be entitled to have a ‘My carers’ needs assessment’, when it is of ‘significant’ benefit to identify what your needs for support maybe once you or the young person has turned 18.

If you share the caring responsibilities with another person, or more than one person (including a child under the age of 18 years), you are each entitled to have your own carers’ assessment.


Who will carry out the carers’ assessment?

A ‘carers’ first contact assessment’ may be carried out by Dudley Carers Hub, a ‘trusted assessor* or and external organisation who supports carers.

A ‘carers’ needs assessment’ will normally be carried out by a trained social worker or ‘trusted’ assessor* from the council. In some cases with your consent you may be referred to an external agency, which carry out carers’ needs assessments on behalf of the local authority.

*a trusted assessor is someone who is not a social worker but who has been trained to carry out assessments.


Preparing for a carers assessment

In preparation of your assessment, it is useful to give yourself some time to think about how caring affects you. You should also think about what help would make a difference to you as a carer, in continuing in your caring role (if this is what you wish). This preparation will help you when discussing things which the council must consider when doing your carers’ assessment.

It is important to remember that a carers’ assessment is not a test, there are no right or wrong answers. The care you are or will be providing is not being assessed.

In preparation of a carers needs assessment we will provide you with information about the assessment in advance, this include a copy of the assessment and information about the type of questions you will be asked during the assessment.

It may be useful to write some notes for yourself, or talk to family or friends to help you think about your needs.


How is a carers’ assessment carried out?

The Care Act 2014, states that any assessments should be carried out in a manner which is:

  • Appropriate and proportionate to your needs and circumstances

  • Ensure that you are able to participate effectively in the assessment


You will be able to decide how you would like your assessment to be carried, currently through either a face to face meeting or over the telephone.

If the assessment, involves a meeting this should be in a convenient and private place for you, this may be at your home or at one of our council offices. An assessment carried out over the telephone should only take place if you are happy to do this. If you think you may have difficulty expressing your needs or you have communication difficulties, a telephone assessment would not be appropriate.

The council will provide you with an independent advocate to assist you in your assessment if;

  • Without support you would have ‘substantial difficulty’ in communicating your wishes, or understanding, retaining and assessing information during the assessment and

  • there is no appropriate person who is able and willing to help you


You may be referred to a local organisation who will carry out an assessment on behalf of Dudley council. This will only be done with your consent. A carers needs assessment will only be carried out by a trained professional.


Can a carer refuse a carers’ assessment?

Yes, you can refuse a carers’ assessment. If you decide you would like an assessment at a later time you can contact us and request an assessment.

If it is felt that there may be safeguarding issues which may put you, the person you care for or other family members in the household at risk of neglect or abuse the council has a duty to follow its ‘safeguarding’ procedures.


How to request a carers’ assessment

If you are currently caring or expect to become a carer in the future and feel you may have needs as result of providing this care you can contact Dudley Carers Hub directly on 01384 818723 or email to discuss your options for assessment.

If you or the person you care for has a named social worker or health care worker you can contact them to request a carers needs assessment.

:: Carers' support plan

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