On the 1 April 2015, a new law came into place; The Care Act 2014.
The Act brings with it significant improvements for unpaid family carers, whose role in society is becoming more widely recognised.
The Act acknowledges that family carers need to be better supported to continue in their caring role. Local authorities, such as Cambridgeshire County Council are now required to promote the wellbeing of all carers, ensure information, advice and support is available, and to prevent, reduce or delay unpaid family carers reaching crisis point.
‘The Care Act represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, putting people and their carers in control of their care and support.’
- Strengthening the rights and recognition of family carers.
- Giving family carers a clear right to receive services. Young carers and parent carers will also have this right, through the Children and Families Act 2014.
- Improving the wellbeing of both family carers and those they care for. Wellbeing refers to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
- A requirement to provide information and advice regarding care and support available locally. This includes:
- Types of support available
- Choice of provider
- How to access support including financial advice
- How to raise concerns
- Putting the rights of family carers on the same footing as those they care for, regardless of how much care they provide.
- Taking a holistic, or whole family approach, including combining assessments if this is the family’s preference.
- Helping family carers put together a support plan.
- Continues support so that if the person with care needs moves to another local authority area they will continue to receive support.
- Allowing local authorities to delegate some of its responsibility to other organisations.
- Ensuring young carers and young adult carers who are receiving support continue to do so whilst their needs are assessed as they become an adult, to ensure a smoother supported transition to adulthood.
The new Care Act has changed the question from ‘What’s the matter with you?’ to ‘What matters to you?’