Disabled Persons (Services Consultation & Representation) Act 1986 section 8
This requires that, during an assessment of a disabled person, the ability of carers who provide substantial amount of care on a regular basis is taken into account.
Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
This Act requires the social services authority (if so requested) to carry out a separate assessment of the carer (a “Carers’s assessment”) at the same time as it assesses the person for whom the care is provided.
The act applies both to adult and young carers regardless of the age of the person for whom they provide care.
It defines the carer as an individual who provides or intends to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis. For the purposes of the
Act the term carer includes people who may or may not be a relative, and who may or may not be living with the person for whom they are caring. The Act excludes volunteers who provide care as part of their work for voluntary organisations and anyone who is providing care by virtue of a contract of employment or any other contract. This would include anyone who is providing personal assistance for payment, either in cash or in kind.
Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000
This Act gives carers a ‘right’ to a carer’s assessment if they are aged over 16 years old and are providing or intending to provide regular and substantial care for someone aged over 18 years. Carers are entitled to an assessment even when the person they care for refuses to have an assessment or having had an assessment refuses to accept services.
It also includes the right for parents of children with disabilities to request an assessment
It provides the power to provide services for carers in their own right, following an assessment of their needs as well as the power to charge for those services.
The act introduced Direct Payments (i.e. cash instead of care) to parent carers, carers for their own services and young disabled people aged 16 and 17 years.
The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004
This places a duty on social care to inform carers of their right to request a carer’s assessment. It also gives the provision for a local authority to
ask another statutory authority or body (such as housing, health, education and other local authorities) to assist in planning the provision of services to carers or to provide services that may enhance the carer’s ability to provide care. The other authority must give the request due consideration.
In relation to work, training education and leisure the Act amends both the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 by ensuring that carer’s assessments must include consideration of whether carers work, or wish to work, and are undertaking or wish to undertake, education, training or any leisure activity.
Work and Families Act 2006
The Work and Families legislation came in 2006, and allows carers of adults the same right to request flexible working as carers of children. Employers do not have to agree to the request, but must make a good business case if refused.
The Children and Young Persons Act 2008
This requires local authorities to make adequate arrangements for short break provision for Disabled Children. In addition the Welsh Assembly Government has a range of powers to inspect, regulate and issue statutory guidance in respect of local authority services under the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. It also has powers to direct the NHS under the National Health Services (Wales) Act 2006.
Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure
In January 2012 the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 came into force. This legislation places a duty on the Local Health Boards to lead on preparing and implementing a carer’s information and consultation strategy. For Cardiff and the Vale the lead health Board is the University Health Board (UHB) who working in partnership with several stakeholders including, Vale Council, Cardiff Council, Vale Council for Voluntary Services (VCVS), Cardiff’s
Third Sector Council (C3SC), Third Sector representatives, Carers representatives and additional UHB services have began this work. At current a working group made up of the above have helped the UHB produce a draft outline of the strategy and what will be included.
- set out how information and guidance will be provided to carers, that will assist them in carrying out their caring role effectively; and
- set out how carers will be consulted and involved in decisions affecting them and those they care for.
LHBs are designated as the ‘lead authority’ in the Regulations. They will be required to lead the work to develop and implement the Strategies, working in partnership with Social Services.
‘Carers and their rights: the law relating to carers’, published by Carers UK by Professor Luke Clements.
This fifth edition includes updates based on a number of statutory and case law developments since the last edition, implementation of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 and the Work and Families Act 2006, the impact of the Equality Act 2010 and coincides with the first tangible impacts of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010.