Carer’s Assessment: Getting Support for Yourself
Relatives providing support to someone with physical or mental health difficulties (‘carers’) also have a right to their own Carer’s Assessment of needs and a plan of support (as described in The Care Act 2014). Even if your relative does not want support from mental health services, you are still entitled to an assessment of the impact of caring on you and your needs. Services have a legal duty to offer a Carer’s Assessment at least once a year and it is the responsibility of the Care Coordinator to make sure this happens.
This is not about assessing how good you are as a carer. It is your needs that are being assessed.
It’s important you share any difficulties you are having and ask for support; no one is making judgements on how good you are as a carer. A Carer’s Assessment can be extremely helpful in all kinds of ways so it is worth asking about.
The Carers Assessment should follow the same 4 key steps described in development of the Care Plan for people experiencing mental health problems and assess the same areas of wellbeing, and focus on achieving the same range of outcomes.
The Carer’s Assessment can be done by the same mental health service as your relative/friend receives support from, or by a collaborating organisation. If you want a carer’s assessment, and are not currently working with mental health services, then contact your local authority.
You should be provided with a copy of your assessment. Check you are happy with it.