The Care Act
The Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 strengthen the rights and recognition of carers in the social care system, and will both came into effect in April 2015 when carers may be able to get more help so that they can carry on caring and look after their own wellbeing. Carers may be eligible for support, such as a direct payment to spend on the things that make caring easier or practical support.
The Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s needs for support, where the carer appears to have such needs, regardless of their income and finances or their level of need. This replaces the existing law, which says that the carer must be providing “a substantial amount of care on a regular basis” in order to qualify for an assessment. This will mean more carers are able to have an assessment, comparable to the right of the people they care for.
The benefit of having an assessment is that it will identify care and support needs and provide information and advice about services aimed at meeting those needs. Click HERE to find out more about carers assessments.
The previous law treated Carers differently from the people they care for. It was developed bit by bit and mixes up rights for carers of different ages. It was complicated, and made it difficult for carers to understand how to get support themselves. Previously carers did not have a legal right to receive support, although local authorities could provide support at their discretion. This meant that access to assessment and the range of support on offer can vary considerably.
The Act creates a single, consistent route to establishing an entitlement to public care and support for all adults with needs for care and support. It also creates the first ever entitlement to support for carers, on a similar basis.
In the case of Carers, eligibility depends on the carer’s situation. The Carer will be entitled to support if:
· They are assessed as having needs that meet the eligibility criteria
· The person they care for lives in the local authority area
· If there is a charge such charge must be accepted by the carer (or the adult being cared for if it falls to them)
Below are some useful links and resources which should help you to understand the changes, however if you would like to speak to a member of Carers FIRST staff about a Carers Assessment or support available, please contact us through this website, or call our Carers Hub on 0300 303 1555 and they will arrange for one of our Carer Support & Assessment Coordinators to call you back.
Carers UK: Care Act Frequently Asked Questions
Carers Trust: Key Points for Carers
Department of Health: Fact Sheet
Gov.UK: Easy Read Guide