Advice for Professionals

Local authorities have a legal obligation to reduce excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities

Section 2.50 of the Care Act 2014 states that: Children should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that may have an impact on their development. A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring role risks impacting upon their emotional or physical wellbeing and their prospects in education and life. A local authority may become aware that a child is carrying out a caring role through an assessment or informed through family members or a school. A local authority should consider how supporting the adult with needs for care and support can prevent the young carer from under taking excessive or inappropriate care and support responsibilities. Where a young carer is identified, the local authority must undertake a young carer’s assessment under part 3 of the Children Act 1989.

Young carers are legally entitled to an assessment of their needs

The Children Act 1989 s.17 amended by the Children and Families Act 2014 s.96 states that:

(1) A local authority in England must assess whether a young carer within their area has needs for support and, if so, what those needs are, if

(a) it appears to the authority that the young carer may have needs for support, or

(b) the authority receives a request from the young carer or a parent of the young carer to assess the young carer’s needs for support.