Young carers are children under 18 with caring responsibilities, and their rights to be assessed come mostly from the Children Act 1989 and the Children and Families Act 2014.
If there is an adult being looked after, then the local council has a duty to consider whether there are any children involved in providing care, and if so, what the impact is on that child.
The local council have a duty to assess ‘on the appearance of need’ (ie without a ‘request’ having to be made). They also have a more general duty to ‘take reasonable steps’ to identify young carers in their area.
The local council must involve the child with caring responsibilities, their parents and any other person the young carer requests in the assessment process. The assessment itself must look at whether or not the young carer wishes to continue caring, and whether it is appropriate for them to continue caring. When doing this they have to take into account any education, training, work or recreational activities the young carer is or wishes to participate in.
Where a young carer’s eligible needs are identified as requiring support, local councils will have to:
- provide support directly to the young carer or
- demonstrate that the ‘cared for person’s’ assessment has provided adequate care and support to prevent inappropriate care being required from the young carer.