Direct payments reviews and Carer assessments

Please can you advise how much the budget was for direct payments to children and young people with disabilities this year and how much it was last year?

2018/2019: £3,333,000

2019/2020: £3,869,000

Please can you advise how many carers of young people have requested a ‘carers assessment’ from DCC SEND and how many have been carried out this year and last?

Five families with disabled children have requested a separate Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA) since January 2019. These requests for assessment have mostly been carried out as part of the holistic assessment of the child as agreed by parents.

No PCNA assessments were requested carried out in 2018.

We should clarify that the Children and Families Act 2014 updated and amended the Children Act 1989, (Section 17 ZD ) to give parents and carers the right to ask for an assessment of their needs as parents or carers of a disabled child subject to a number of terms and conditions .  This has become known as a parent /carer needs assessment (PCNA).
In Devon, as in most other Local Authorities, we assess the support needs of parents and carers of children who qualify for Section 17 assessment as part of our holistic assessment (known as single assessment ) of the child . The ‘Resource Allocation of Support’ (RAS) tool that we use to calculate an indicative amount of funding for support for any family also has a section on parent/ carer needs and once this is completed the scores impact on the total amount indicated as possibly necessary to meet family support needs
The Act does clearly state that the Local Authority may combine assessment of parent carer needs with other assessments. (Children and Families Act 2014; Parent carers’ needs assessments: supplementary to the Children Act 1989 Sec 17ZE)

We are aware however that best practice would be for us to have a format available for the separate assessment of parent and carers needs (in relation to caring for their disabled child ) for those who may request this, subject to eligibility.  We are working on this and hope to be able to share a draft PCNA format and pathway with interested parents for comment very shortly.

Can you also advise how many were awarded support and what was the average figure awarded?

No parent /carers have thus far been offered support separately to their child and family Support or Short Break Plan

We should further clarify that the legislation does not require the Local Authority to necessarily provide any separate support package to parents and carers on the basis of a PCNA , but does require the Local Authority to set out clearly how they have considered the ;
the well-being of the parent carer, and
the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the disabled child cared for and any other child for whom the parent carer has parental responsibility.’
(C&F Act 2014; Sec 97. 10 , CA 1989 Sec 17ZD)

We expect that where we do carry out separate PCNA assessments most families will be supported by a holistic plan of support for the family .