Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000
|Long title||An Act to make provision about the assessment of carers' needs; to provide for services to help carers; to provide for the making of payments to carers and disabled children aged 16 or 17 in lieu of the provision of services to them; and for connected purposes.|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
1. The Carers National Strategy document "Caring about Carers", published on 8 February 1999 highlighted the need for legislation to enable local Councils with social service responsibilities to provide services direct to carers.
2. The Government's aim is to support carers in their caring roles and to help them maintain their own health and well-being.
3. To meet these aims the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 that came into force on 1 April 2001 gives local councils the power to supply certain services direct to carers following assessment. There is also a new right to a carer's assessment even where the person cared for has refused an assessment for, or the provision of, community care services.
4. Persons with parental responsibility for a disabled child (parents or other carers) also have a right to ask for an assessment.
5. The Government has given local councils the power to make direct payments to carers (including 16- and 17-year-old carers receiving support under the Act) to meet their own assessed needs.
6. Local councils may also make direct payments to parents of a disabled child to purchase services to meet the assessed needs of the disabled child and family. In addition councils may make direct payments to 16- and 17-year-old disabled young people.
Direct payments to adolescents
The Government's aim in extending direct payments to disabled young people age 16 and 17.
1. Direct payments are able to bring about improvements in the quality of life of people who would like to manage their own social services support. They promote independence, and aid social inclusion by offering opportunities for education, leisure and employment.
2. As part of the transition from childhood to adulthood, direct payments provide opportunities for disabled young people who want to develop management skills that will help them make decisions about how their assessed need for support will be met, both in the immediate and long-term future.
Direct payments for young disabled people
Important issues for consideration when offering a direct payment to a young disabled person
1. For any young person (with or without an impairment) the process of growing up involves the gradual taking on of more and more responsibility for himself or herself. As part of the transition to adulthood, some young people may wish to have a direct payment to manage parts or all of the elements of their care package to improve how their care package is delivered.
2. Issues for local councils to consider when planning services in partnership with parents and children remain the same when direct payments are being discussed: the family is the natural and most appropriate place for children, Local councils work in partnership with parents, while recognising that children are individuals with their own wishes and feelings.
3. In making decisions about direct payments to 16- and 17-year-old disabled young people the council should balance, as they do now (in relation to providing services) the young person's wishes and feelings and the views of those with parental responsibility. The overriding requirement is that the intervention of the local council, whether by providing a service or a direct payment, should promote and safeguard the welfare of the young person.
4. Where there is a difference of views between parents and disabled children age 16 and 17 and provided that the children have sufficient understanding to make informed decisions local councils should give precedence to their views. It follows that there may be situations where it would be right for a young person to receive a direct payment whether the parents agree or not.
5. There will also be situations where a disabled young person will express a wish to manage a direct payment but it is apparent to their parents and to the local council that they do not, at the moment, have the capacity to exercise this level of control in a way that will promote their welfare.