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Care Act training: carer assessments

This theme explores the Care Act duties around carer assessments, including: who is a carer? What is a carer assessment? And how to carry out a carer assessment.

Training videos

What are carer assessments?

Who are carers?

Carrying out carer assessments

Key messages

What is a carer assessment?

  • The duty is to assess a carer’s need for support to enable them to achieve outcomes which are important to them in day-to-day life, and to be able to provide necessary care to an adult.
  • An assessment is not an assessment of eligibility to meet the specified outcomes.
  • The purpose of the carer assessment is to identify personal outcomes, existing needs and impact on individual priorities (individual wellbeing) and the caring role.
  • It is a critical intervention (the form is where the intervention is recorded in a structured way).

Who is a carer?

  • A carer is an individual who is providing unpaid and necessary support to another individual.
  • It does not matter how much unpaid care is being provided.
  • It does not matter how ‘regular’ the care is provided.
  • Necessary support = the carer does things that the individual can’t do

How to do carer assessments?

  • It must be person-centred.
  • To understand if there is need for support requires evidence gathered during a semi-structured conversation.
  • The assessment should be led by the carer and facilitated by the assessor using strengths-based open-ended questions.
  • Identifying assessed needs is in relation to the nine areas of wellbeing.
  • The assessment considers the viewpoint of all those involved in the process (i.e. assessor, individual, professionals, carer, etc.).
  • An assessment should be a proportionate response to the presenting needs and be flexible and adaptable to the assessed needs and the individual circumstances.
  • An assessment can be undertaken using different means/methods, e.g. telephone.
  • An assessment must recognise a person’s fluctuating needs and must capture an accurate picture of the person’s life.

Reflective questions

Find below a set of reflective questions that will help you embed the above key messages in your social care practice.

  1. Have I fully explained the purpose of a carer assessment, and given the carer enough time and information about how to prepare for the assessment?
  2. Have I offered the carer the opportunity to have the assessment at a time and place to suit them? Have I checked whether their preference is to have the assessment alone or with family or friends present, and with or without the person they care for?
  3. During the assessment did I ask open-ended questions and listen for, and check, how the carer is feeling about their caring responsibilities now and in the future, and how these may impact on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and opportunities to participate in work, education, training and recreation, and family time.
  4. During the assessment did I ensure that the carer leads the conversation around their needs and has the opportunity to be fully involved in identifying their options and decision-making?
  5. Am I clear about who is a carer? Have I asked the right questions to ensure I understand the whole picture and what support the carer needs to carry out their caring role? Am I open to the carer’s suggestions about the support they need?

Handout for Care Act training: carer assessments