If you care for a child or young person with SEND you may be eligible for support.
This support could include giving you financial assistance or practical help based on the outcome of a carer’s assessment.
The Children and Families Act 2014 and Care Act 2014 sets out legal requirements for the local authority to assess the needs of parents who care for a child or young person if they request it, or appear to need support.
Our money and benefits section of the Local offer has more on the financial support you may be eligible for.
If you care for a child aged under 18 who has disabilities, a long-term health condition or learning difficulties, you are considered to be a ‘parent carer’. You will also be assessed as part of the process to consider your child’s needs, because social services will look at the needs of the family as a whole. This is sometimes referred to as a ’holistic’ assessment.
The assessment should consider:
- your family’s background and culture
- your own views and preferences
- the needs of any other children you have.
The assessment is not a test of your parenting skills. It should be a sensitive look at any difficulties the family has as a whole, with a view to considering what support or services are needed.
A care plan should be drawn up which includes services to benefit both you and your child.
This could include adaptations to your home, help with bathing or regular respite breaks to ensure you get the rest you need.
You could also choose to have a direct payment so that you can buy in your own services for your child.
When your child turns 18 your role changes from a ‘parent carer’ to an ‘adult carer’. By law, the Care Act 2014 requires us to carry out an adult carer’s assessment. This is to make sure your needs as the carer, and the impact this role is having on your wellbeing, is being addressed.
This can either be carried out as a:
- joint assessment - this considers your needs and your child’s needs at the same time
- single assessment - this looks at your needs independently from your child’s.
If you are under 18 and you have caring responsibilities, you may be considered a ‘young carer’.
You can read more about services and support for young carers on the adult social care pages of the website.