The Children and Families Act (2014) introduced important provisions for parent carers of disabled children.
While there is no right to services, there is an assessment duty on the local authority to assess the needs of parent carers of disabled children. This is known as a Parent Carers Needs Assessment (PCNA).
We must assess parent carers if:
- it appears to us that the parent carer may have need for support
- we receive a request from the parent carer to assess their need for support and their child meets the eligibility criteria for the Disabled Children’s Service
This assessment will lead to a better-informed decision about the holistic package of support that disabled children and their families need.
The assessment must also consider:
- the well-being of the parent carer
- the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the disabled child and any other child the parent carer has parental responsibility for
A Parent Carer Needs Assessment is for those who:
- live in the Devon County Council area
- are 18 years old or over
- provide, or intend to provide, care for a disabled child
- have parental responsibility for that child
Parent Carers Needs Assessments can be completed as a stand-alone assessment or in conjunction with an assessment of the disabled child’s needs.
How to get an assessment
A Parent Carers Needs Assessment will be completed for all children and their parent carer(s) who are accepted into the service for an assessment.
If your child is already being supported by the Disabled Children’s Service, we will complete a Parent Carers Needs Assessment at your child’s next short break plan review (which happens at least annually). If you want to request that a Parent Carers Needs Assessment is completed before this, please get in touch with your child’s worker or team and we will do it as soon as we can.
If your child is assessed as having eligible support needs, the Parent Carers Needs Assessment will be used to inform the short break plan for you and your child.
If your child is assessed as not having eligible support needs, you will be provided with advice, guidance and signposting to other support services for you as a parent carer.