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Information for Carers

Parent Carer Needs Assessments

Your entitlement to a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)

Parents and carers have a stand-alone right to assessments and services under the Children and Families Act 2014.  This is called a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA). Very simply, a PCNA is about parents and carer's needs - assessing what parents and carers need to enable them to carry on caring. It is your chance to consider your role as a carer and what help you may need to support you, to maintain your own health, as well as balancing your caring role with other aspects of your life, such as work and family.  

The law recognises that parents and carers needs are just as important as a child or young person’s.   If a parent or carer’s needs are not met – how can they continue to care for their child or young person? 

Achieving for Children has the responsibility for doing the assessment. AfC then provide a personal support plan which describes the current support available. This will make your journey in getting support easier. The primary AfC services that will help you are:

  • Family Support
  • The Local Offer
  • Integrated Services for Children with Disabilities
Should I complete this assessment?

You should complete this assessment, if you are:

  • aged 18 or over; AND
  • you provide unpaid care and support to a child or young person who is ill, frail, has a physical disability, has a learning disability, has sight or hearing loss, has mental health difficulties, has other additional needs OR, you are the parent or guardian of a disabled child ( the definition of disability is set out in section 17(11) Children Act 1989); AND
  • the person you care for lives within the boroughs of Kingston or Richmond (pays Council Tax to Kingston or Richmond Council). If the person lives in a different local authority area, please contact that local authority to request your Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA). All parents and carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs.

Please note:

  • support is not linked to your income or savings
  • you don’t have to provide care for a minimum number of days or hours
  • you don’t have to live with the person you care for
  • you may have other responsibilities like a job or looking after your family.

There is more information in the PCNA booklet which contains the application form. You can download this below.

Apply for an assessment

You can apply for a PCNA using the application form below:

Procedure and process including timescales

Procedure for Parent Carer Needs Assessment (pdf) 

Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA) Process Flowchart  if child is NOT known to Achieving for Children (pdf) 

Parent Child Needs Assessment (PCNA) Process Flowchart if child is known to Achieving for Children (pdf)

Application Form

Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA) booklet/application form (word doc) 

What happens next?

The completed PCNA booklet must be returned to the Single Point of Access (SPA), either paper copy or electronically via e-mail.   The SPA will contact you once you have returned the completed assessment. 

The location of the SPA is Guildhall 2, Kingston, KT1 1EU.  Email:

​Parent Carer Needs Assessment when your child is over 18

There is a separate process for this as a child or young person over 18 is classed as an adult. Therefore it would be Adult Social Services who would assess the needs of a parent or carer of a young person over 18.

Find out more and how to apply online in the Adult Social Care section of the Kingston website (opens a new window)

Find out more and how to apply online in the Richmond Council website (opens a new window)

More reading

Carers UK - Assessments and the Care Act (pdf)

Find out how NHS England are helping carers (opens a new window)

Cerebra guide to PCNA's (opens a new window)