Last updated: 10 July 2023
Our duties towards Carers
Your rights as a carer are underpinned by law which informs the way in which the Council and other organisations, including, Health, Schools, and Public Health, should support you and your family.
The Care Act 2014 sets out the responsibilities the Council has - mainly for adult carers. We have a duty to offer you an assessment where you appear to have needs and to arrange support according to your needs, desired outcomes, and eligibility. You can be an adult carer and have an assessment with us if you are over 18 and care for another adult such as a spouse, parent, partner, friend, neighbour, relative, or adult child who is an ordinary resident of Waltham Forest. You might also have caring responsibilities for different generations such as children and parents and/or you may even be receiving some care for yourself. You may be in receipt of Carers Allowance.
The Children and Families Act 2014 sets out the responsibilities of the Council to assess parent carers of disabled children under 18. You are a parent carer if you are 18 or over and you are providing or intending to provide care for a disabled child and have parental responsibility for the child/children. This will be based on impact and not the amount of time spent in your caring role.
This act also sets out the responsibilities for the Council to carry out an assessment if you are under 18. A young carer is someone who intends to or who already looks after another person. This could be towards one of your siblings and/or parents or supporting a parent to care for a family member or friend. The assessment will look at the impact caring for someone has on you, and if this is appropriate for you to be doing that, and what support you might need as a young carer.
There are a range of other Acts that protect carers, including the Human Rights Act 1998 , the 2010 Equality Act and the Work and Families Act 2006 which gives carers the right to request flexible working and the right to take unpaid time off during emergencies without affecting your employment.
The Council cannot deliver these duties alone and the law says that each partner of the Council must co-operate generally to improve outcomes for carers. Health is a particularly important partner of the Council, and we will work closely with our stakeholders and partners from across the whole system to ensure the needs and rights of carers are better understood so they can be considered and accounted for when developing services and programmes. This strategy will emphasise on taking a “Whole System Approach” to supporting carers of residents in Waltham Forest.