Information for Carers

The Children and Families Act 2014 and Care Act 2014 set out requirements for the local authority to assess the needs of parents who care for a child or young person under 18 years (‘parent carer’) and parents caring for a young person over 18 years (‘adult carer’) if there is an appearance of need or the carer requests it.

Mother and daughter

Parent Carers

You are a Parent Carer if you look after a child under the age of 18 who has disabilities, a long-term health condition or learning difficulties. As part of your child’s assessment the social worker will also consider your needs as a carer and the needs of any other children in the family.

Adult Carers

When your child turns 18 your role changes from a Parent Carer to an Adult Carer. You can request to be assessed again at this point to make sure that you are eligible for support as an adult caring for another adult. This can be done either as a joint assessment, when your needs and those of your son or daughter are assessed at the same time. Alternatively, you can request a single assessment where your needs will be assessed independently from your child’s.

The Carer’s Assessment is about improving your quality of life and promoting your personal wellbeing so that you are better able to cope with the responsibilities of being a carer. Following the assessment the social care worker will give you information and advice and can direct you to organisations and group that will be able to help you. In some circumstances you may receive a Carer’s Direct Payment to purchase something that will help you in your caring role. The assessment will not judge your ability to care and will not look at your financial situation.

You can request a Carer’s Assessment by contacting Essex Social Care Direct on 0845 6037630.

Girl and her young sisterYoung Carers

A young carer is anyone who is under the age of 18 and who provides care and support for a family member. Although many children help to care for siblings willingly and without complaint, the role could still be taking its toll on them.

If other children in the family help in any way to provide care, there may be support available to them. A Young Carer’s Assessment can be requested to find out if they can get additional help. A Targeted Youth Adviser will carry out this assessment and will ask about what help and support they need. They will discuss with you and your family how you can get support and they can also help you to access appropriate support to meet your needs. You will find more information to help young carers at

A Young Carer’s Assessment can be requested by contacting the Essex Youth Service

Working carers

Looking after someone sometimes takes a lot of time and energy. This can make it difficult to keep up with work or studies. There is legislation in place which makes it easier for people in this situation to balance their responsibilities at home with their responsibilities at work, college, or university.

You may feel that you wouldn’t be able to cope with a new job or course alongside your caring role, or that it’s simply too late. Many courses and jobs however, can be flexible so you can find the right home/work balance, and fit work around your other commitments.

You can find out more about what your rights are at work at

Support groups for carers

There are a number of groups across Essex that offer support and advice for carers. For more information please click here.

Additional Reading

The government has produced a library of useful factsheets to explain what has changed since the implementation of the Care Act 2014. You will find these on the government website at