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Most carers would not recognise themselves under the term 'carer'. They are just people trying to cope as best they can while helping to look after an elderly relative, a partner or a young child with a disability.

They may even be juggling paid work with their unpaid caring responsibilities at home.

The Care Act 2014, means for the first time carers will be recognised in the law in the same way as those they care for.

Who is a carer?

A carer is someone who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day to day life.  This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.

The Care Act relates mostly to adult carers – people over 18 who are caring got another adult.

However, the regulations under the Act means that social workers must look at family circumstances when assessing an adult’s need for care.  Which means, for example, making sure that the position of a young carer within a family is not overlooked.  The Act also makes new rules about working with young carers, or adult carers of disabled children, to plan an effective and timely move to adult care and support.

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