Carers rights: overview

Briefing by Luke Clements ~ updated April 2018. This section needs expanding: for corrections or suggested additions please contact
For a a 2020 lecture concerning the rights of carers under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (divided into six sections)  click here:
Carers Wales has an excellent guide to carers’ assessments (click here to access this); and
Cerebra has produced an excellent guide for people caring for disabled children UK (click here to access this).
Carers Wales is also monitoring the effectiveness of the Act’s implementation through its ‘Track the Act’ programme – for details of this click here.
Social Care Wales Preventative support for adult carers in Wales: rapid review (2018) is a review of practice which stresses (among many things) that respite support ‘needs to be flexible and work for the carer, but also needs to meet the needs of both person who receives care and support and the carer (whole family approach). Planned respite or replacement care is often not available when carers feel it would be of most benefit’. p.12


The 2014 Act represents a radical improvement in the legal rights of carers to social care support.  Carers have a right be assessed without having to ask and they do not have to be providing regular or substantial care for the person in need.   The right to be assessed is however only available (in general) to people who are not being paid to provide the care in question.   The rights of carers covers carers of all ages and is irrespective of the characteristics of the person in need (ie it covers adult carers, young carers, parent carers and so on).

The right to an assessment is a right to a full assessment (including a consideration of the carer’s eligibility for support) and is not the same as a ‘What Matters Conversation’.[1]

Since carers now have very similar rights to social care and support, to that of disabled people – the overview of the social care law in Wales general briefing on the 2014 Act provides detail on these rights (including the rights of parent carers and young carers) and the sections on Assessments & Eligibility Criteria, Care Planning and Direct Payments are perhaps of particular relevance.

[1] See A James What matters to Carers? Is a ‘What Matters’ conversation an assessment?’ in Rhydian (2017) v1 p1.