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Get a carer's assessment

If you're an unpaid carer for a relative or friend, you can now get your needs assessed to help you get support for your caring role.

You have a right to get your needs assessed if you appear to have needs for support, regardless of your level of need or your financial resources. This is the case, even if the person you care for has refused an assessment or services or does not have eligible needs that can be met through social care.

The assessment looks at how caring affects your life - physically, mentally and emotionally. It will also consider what you want to achieve and whether you are able, or willing, to carry on with your caring role.

Parent carer assessment

If you are a parent carer you are entitled to an assessment if:

  • you appear to have needs for support
  • you ask for the council to assess your support needs
  • the council is satisfied that your child and family are eligible to receive services

Parent carers are also entitled to an assessment where it is likely that they will need support after their child turns 18 years of age. This assessment will consider adult care and support arrangements.

How do you get an assessment?

Durham County Carers Support will carry out an initial assessment and can refer you to the council if they are unable to provide you with the advice and support to meet your needs. Or you can make a self-referral by contacting Social Care Direct. Find out about eligibility criteria for carers with support needs on Durham County Council's Get your care needs assessed page.

Young carer's assessments

If you are a young carer we must involve you, your parents and anybody else you request in your assessment. It will look at why you are a carer, and consider what needs to change to make sure you don't have to carry out too many, or inappropriate, caring activities which could impact on your welfare, education, or social development. These may include:

  • personal care, for example bathing and toileting
  • strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting
  • giving medication
  • looking after the family finances
  • providing emotional support to the adult you care for

How do you get an assessment?

You can request an assessment, or one can be requested on your behalf, for example by a teacher. The assessment will be carried out by Durham County Council (contact First Contact on 03000 267 979) or Family Action - The Bridge Young Carer's Service (contact 0191 383 2520 or