Introduction, Legal Requirements and Tools (Carer's Transition)

These procedures should be used by anyone that has been allocated or asked to carry out either of the following carer's assessments under section 58 of the Care Act:

  1. Young Carer's Assessment;
  2. Child's Carer's Assessment

If you are carrying out an adult carer's assessment you need to access the main carer's procedures.

See: Carers.

If you are carrying out a young carer's assessment under the Children Act 1989 or a parent carer's assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014 you should refer to relevant children's services procedures.

Under the Care Act any method of establishing needs is known as an assessment and this is the legally recognised term. Assessment is an integral part of adult Care and Support.

The term 'assessment' covers:

  1. The range of methods that can be used to establish needs, some of which are formal (for example, a face to face assessment) and some of which are not so formal (for example, a short telephone conversation); and
  2. The range of models and frameworks used to support or shape the process of information gathering.

Unfortunately the word 'assessment' is all too often associated with outdated practices to gather information that do not support the ethos of the Care Act. For example, being:

  1. A process led by the assessor;
  2. A structured process involving the use of forms and arbitrary questions;
  3. An 'interview' of the carer being assessed; and
  4. A gateway to funding and services, the nature of which is decided by the assessor.

As a mechanism to promote and support new practices around assessment that are in line with the Care Act ethos and duties, these procedures intentionally use the phrase 'Establishing Needs' alongside the legal term 'assessment'. This supports users of the procedures to think more flexibly about what an 'assessment' can, and may need to involve so that it is:

  1. Proportionate, only being formal or lengthy when it needs to be;
  2. Led by the carer with support needs;
  3. Appropriate to the carer and their situation; and
  4. A method of supporting the carer to find their own solutions to issues identified.

Under the Care Act the purpose of a carer's transition assessment is:

  1. To understand what the parent carer's/young carer's needs are now; and
  2. To understand what a young carer's needs are likely to be after the age of 18 (young carer's assessment); or
  3. To understand what a parent carer's needs are likely to be when the young person they care for becomes 18 (child's carer's assessment); and
  4. To understand the support that the parent carer/young carer will need to establish a smooth transition to adult Care and Support.

A good assessment will also:

  1. Support parent carers/young carer's to understand their strengths and capabilities within the context of their situation;
  2. Support parent carers/young carer's to understand the support that may be available to them within the community or through other networks and services; and
  3. Support parent carers/young carer's to consider some of the different ways that the Local Authority may be able to support them (other than through a formal service).

The information gathered will help the Local Authority to:

  1. Make a determination about eligibility (when a young carer or cared for person turns 18); and
  2. Understand the kind of service provisions that could be explored when Support planning.

Across the country and even within each Local Authority there are a range of models and frameworks used to support or shape the process of information gathering to establish a young carers/child's carers needs. The Care Act recognises that different approaches are used but all must fulfil the same legal requirements.

See: Legal Requirements of a Young Carer's Assessment, part of the Care Act 2014.

See: Legal Requirements of a Child Carer's Assessment, part of the Care Act 2014.

The Care Act does not require that a specific tool (or any tool at all) is used to support or shape the assessment process, but it does acknowledge that a good tool can be helpful. However, any tool should:

  1. Facilitate and maximise the carer's involvement;
  2. Support the information gathering process;
  3. Be flexible and adaptable; and
  4. Be appropriate and proportionate to the situation and needs of the parent carer/young carer being assessed.

See below for details of the tools that are available for you to use as required.

The process of establishing needs involves having a skilled conversation about:

  1. Wellbeing and outcomes;
  2. Needs; and
  3. Risk.

You should consult with the parent carer/young carer when arranging the assessment to understand the specific communication needs that they have so that any assessment tool you use will maximise their involvement in the conversation.

If you do not feel that the assessment tools available to you will be appropriate you should speak to your manager about how they can be adapted.

Across the country and even within each Local Authority there are a range of models and frameworks used to support or shape the process of information gathering to establish needs. These are known as tools.

First and foremost you should have regard for any available practice guidance or good practice examples provided by the Local Authority.

The following are additional tools and guidance that may be useful.

tri.x has also developed a range of person centred tools that can support a parent carer/young carer to:

  1. Think about what matters most to them, now and in the future;
  2. Think about Wellbeing;
  3. Think about needs and what a good day/bad day looks like; and
  4. Think about what is working/not working about any services or support they receive.

See: Resources for Person Centred and Strength Based Conversations.

Last Updated: May 18, 2022

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