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Carers UK welcomes ‘step closer’ to improving parent carers rights

29 January 2014

Responding to last night’s debate on strengthening the rights of parent carers, the Children’s Minister, Lord Nash, agreed to introduce an amendment at the final stage of the children and Families Bill

Saying that a strong case had been made for consolidating the legislation and giving parent carers the same rights to assessment as other carers, the Minister committed to working with carers organisations and parent carers on the details of the proposal.

Welcoming the progress, Carers UK’s Director of Policy, Emily Holzhausen, said:

“We are pleased that the Minister has committed to making a change to include parent carers in the legislation. Consolidating existing rights would make it much easier for carers and social workers to understand and use the law to understand the needs of carers. But, we await the detail of the Government’s proposals to see if legal rights of parent carers will be the same as other carers.

Peers speaking in the debate were very clear that the new duty to promote well-being in the Care Bill which will apply to carers of adults, should also apply to parents caring for disabled children. Parent carers do not understand why this duty should not apply to them and Carers UK will continue to press the Government to include well-being in any changes to the Bill.

The Minister referred to an assessment of ‘parental capacity to cope’ but the existing law on assessments goes beyond this requiring a consideration of whether they work, or undertake any education, training or leisure activity or wish to do so. Parents of disabled children shouldn’t just be supported to carry on caring, they need support to enable them to have lives of their own alongside caring. In working with the Government on the details of their proposal we want ensure that this is clear.”

Carers UK is calling for:

  • Legislation on parent carers across three different Acts to be brought together
  • Parent carers to be automatically offered an assessment rather than having to request one and for the requirements that a parent carer be providing ‘regular and substantial’ care to be removed.
  • Clear recognition that carer’s assessments must look at the impact of caring on their health and well-being and the ability of parents to work and participate in training or leisure activities - not simply at their ability to ‘cope’.
  • Services that support parent carers must have the promotion of their well-being at the heart of what they do.
  • A clear duty to provide services to support parents of disabled children.

Find out more about Carers UK’s Equal Rights for Parent Carers campaign »

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