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Information for Carers

Parent Carer Needs Assessments

  ​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
Could I apply for an assessment?

You could apply for an 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.
Apply for an assessment

If you have a professional from Achieving for Children working with your child, please contact them. They will be able to assist you to make a request for an assessment. All other requests should go through the Single Point of Access. You can phone them on 020 8547 5008 to request a PCNA and they will arrange this for you.

Both processes are set out below. 

  • Parent/carer(s) requests PCNA/Worker offers one
  • PCNA form to be completed by allocated worker within 20 working days and sent for discussion at panel (to be sent via email to ISCD Business Support and Head of Service, Children with Disabilities team, who will add to panel agenda)

PCNA to be discussed at the next PCNA panel, which takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.

  • Outcome to be shared with parent / carer within 5 working days of the panel taking place; panel will feedback to the professional who undertook the PCNA and it is their responsibility to inform the parent/ carer of the outcome.
  • Panel will also send a letter to the parent / carer with the outcome within 10 working days.
  • Panel will inform Business Support of the outcome so this can be added to the PCNA data tracker.

 

  • If parent / carer is unhappy with the outcome of the PCNA, they must inform the professional who undertook the assessment in writing (letter or email) within 10 working days so this can be sent for appeal.
  • Appeals will be heard within 10 working days and responses to parent / carer within another 5 working days.

Notes:

Panel members:

Team Leader Specialist Community Nursing Short Breaks Manager Head of Service, Children with Disabilities Service

Appeals Panel:   

Associate Director for Health
Associate Director for Identification and Assessment

 
Day 1 
  • PCNA request received by SPA.
  • The PCNA request to be sent to DCT manager where it will be allocated within DCT Family Support
By Day 10
 
Initial visit to parent / carer to have been completed
 
By Day 20
  • PCNA form to be completed and sent for discussion at panel (to be sent via email to ISCD Business Support and Head of Service, Children with Disabilities team, who will add to panel agenda)
  • PCNA to be discussed at the next PCNA panel, which takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. 
  • Outcome to be shared with parent / carer within 5 working days of the panel taking place; panel will feedback to the professional who undertook the PCNA and it is their responsibility to inform the parent/ carer of the outcome.
  • Panel will also send a letter to the parent / carer with the outcome within 10 working days.
  • Panel will inform Business Support of the outcome so this can be added to the PCNA data tracker.
  • If parent / carer is unhappy with the outcome of the PCNA, they must inform the professional who undertook the assessment in writing (letter or email) within 10 working days so this can be sent for appeal.
  • Appeals will be heard within 10 working days and responses to parent / carer within another 5 working days.

 

Notes:
 
Panel members:
Team Leader Specialist Community Nursing
Short Breaks Manager
Head of Service, Children with Disabilities Service
 
Appeals Panel:   
Associate Director for Health
Associate Director for Identification and Assessment
 
Panel will review tracker every 6 months for themes to be identified and will feed information back to councils.
 
 

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)

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