Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)

If you are a parent carer of a child with a disability and have parental responsibility, you have the right to request a parent carer needs assessment (Children and Families Act 2014). The assessment will consider:

  • Your individual needs as a parent carer
  • Things that could make looking after your child easier for you
  • Your wellbeing* as a parent carer
  • The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of your disabled child
  • The need to safeguard and promote the welfare of any other children that you care for 

We must assess parent carers if:

  • It appears to us that the parent carer may have need for support, or 
  • We receive a request from the parent carer to assess their need for support 

We would not do a parent carer needs assessment if:

  • Your child has an allocated social worker

Your needs would be considered within a social work assessment for your child.

How to request an Assessment?

If you would like to request a Parent Carer Needs Assessment, contact the Access and Referral Hub on:

You can complete this assessment if you:

  • have had no previous contact with social care or

  • your situation has changed and you would like us to review how we can support you.

The assessment is the tool by which the parent carers needs can be understood where those needs are complex and as a result the assessment is the most appropriate means of identifying which needs should be met by the Council. This may include:

  • Advice and signposting for best use of universal and targeted services

  • A one-off payment to meet a specific need (S17 payment)

  • Short breaks via Direct Payments to support the carer in the caring role e.g. day-time care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere, overnight care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere, educational or leisure activities for disabled children outside their homes, and services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays

  • If the assessment outcome is that your needs can be met within your community, additional support services will not be made available. Your worker will provide you with information to help you access local services and if you feel it necessary, help you make these links.


What happens next?

Once the PCNA is completed the entire process will take no more than 5 working days and may result in a personal support plan.

  • When you return your form, we will contact you within two working days to confirm we have received it and ask any additional questions about your circumstances if these are unclear from the assessment received.
  • If services from the Council are required to meet your needs as a parent carer, one of our support workers will compile a personal support plan and arrange a meeting (or telephone call) to discuss this with you. This meeting can take place anywhere that suits you.
  • If services from the Council are not required you will be signposted to appropriate universal services.
  • At the meeting, you can ask questions about any aspect of the personal support plan agree any further actions or queries that need an answer.
  • The personal support plan is only complete when both you and a Central Bedfordshire Council representative sign and date the plan.
  • If services under Children Act 1989, s17 are required to meet the needs of your child or children in addition to your needs as a carer and agreed with you, this may require an additional assessment of your child. This will be completed within 45 working days from the date this decision was made.