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Fact sheet

What about carers who refuse an assessment?

Someone may refuse a carers assessment initially because:

  • they can’t see the point
  • they don’t understand what is on offer
  • they have heard that they will not be entitled to anything following a carers’ assessment
  • they may have been through similar processes before with other professionals and had a negative experience
  • they may fear that involvement from social services will lead to changes that they are not prepared for
  • they are not focusing on their own needs at this stage and only want the needs of the cared for person addressed
  • they may feel they are being tested to see if they are caring properly, causing them anxiety

What you can do:

  • Be sensitive
  • Take a little time to discuss how a carer’s assessment can be helpful in supporting them and that this isn’t selfish; it can be in the interest of the cared for person too
  • Leave the door open for a carer’s assessment in the future, when they are ready to discuss their own needs

Don’t forget: Even if they do decline an assessment, you still have a statutory duty under section 8 of the Disabled Persons Act 19861 to take into account the ability of the carer to continue to provide care when assessing a client’s needs. Involving the carer in the cared for person’s assessment (where the cared for person is happy for this to happen) allows you to do this and sometimes this process will show that the carer does in fact see themselves as having needs. This may then develop into a holistic assessment of the cared for person and carer together, or trigger a separate carer’s assessment.

Confidentiality: Remember that what the carer tells you, as the assessor, should be kept confidential unless it is agreed by the carer that the information can be shared.

1. In Scotland, this is a statutory duty in terms of Section 8 of the Community Care and Health (s) Act 2002