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Central Bedfordshire Council Parent Carer Needs Assessment

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What is a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)?

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Start of content

What is a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)?

Items marked mandatory must be completed

Important provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 for parent carers of disabled children and young carers came into force on 1 April 2015.

There is no new right to services for parent carers of disabled children, as there is for family carers of disabled adults under the Care Act.

What we have for parent carers of disabled children is a new assessment duty – and one that should lead to a better informed decision about the holistic package of support that disabled children and their families need. Section 97 of the Children & Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to assess parent carers on the appearance of need or where an assessment is requested by the parent. This is called a “parent carers needs assessment”.

Where requested, the local authority must assess whether that parent has needs for support and, if so, what those needs are. The assessment must include an assessment of whether it is appropriate for the parent to provide, or continue to provide, care for a disabled child, in the light of the parent’s needs for support, other needs and wishes. The assessment must also have regard to:

  • The well-being of the parent carer; and
  • The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child and any other child for whom the parent carer has parental responsibility.
Following assessment, the local authority must then decide:

  • Whether the parent has needs for support;
  • Whether the child has needs for support;
  • And if so whether those needs could be met (wholly or partly) by services under Children Act 1989, s17.