Local Authority responsibilities under the Social Services and Well-being Act

  • Overarching duties – General duty to promote the well-being of a carer who has, or may have, needs for support
  • Population Assessment – Local authorities and Local Health Boards must jointly carry out an assessment of support needs of carers – not to be confused with a carers assessment!
  • Preventative services – A local authority must provide or arrange for the provision of a range and level of preventative services
  • Provision of information, advice and assistance – A local authority must secure the provision of a service for providing carers with information, advice and assistance relating to accessing support
    • Carers who need support must have their well-being promoted
    • Carers views, wishes and feelings must be listened to (in so far as is reasonably practicable)
    • Carers must be respected and treated with dignity
    • Carers must receive appropriate support to enable them to participate in decisions that affect them

Assessing the needs of individuals

  • The Act creates a duty for local authorities to undertake a carer’s assessment where it appears that the carer has needs for support
  • The Act requires assessments to be proportionate to ensure more energy is focused on delivering support
  • Carers will be assessed as to whether they have ‘an eligible need’ for support against eligibility criteria
  • Local authorities must assess the extent to which the carer is able (and will continue to be able), to provide care for the person their caring for

When should a carer receive an assessment

  • Anyone who provides or intends to provide care is legally entitled to an assessment. An assessment should be offered as soon as it appears to a local council that you may have a need for support. Each local council from April 2016 should have an Information, Advice and Assistance service.
  • If a carer only asks for information and advice there is no obligation to provide an assessment. Staff must advise that to receive a carers assessment they must tell local authority staff that wish their needs as a carer to be assessed.
  • If a carer has not been offered an assessment then they may contact the local authority and ask for one.