What is a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)?

Parents and carers have a stand-alone right to assessments and services under the Children and Families Act 2014.  This is called a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA). Very simply, a PCNA is about parents and carer's needs - assessing what parents and carers need to enable them to carry on caring. It is your chance to consider your role as a carer and what help you may need to support you, to maintain your own health, as well as balancing your caring role with other aspects of your life, such as work and family.  

The law recognises that parents and carers needs are just as important as a child or young person’s.   If a parent or carer’s needs are not met – how can they continue to care for their child or young person? 

Find out more

Carers UK - Assessments and the Care Act (opens a pdf)

Find out how NHS England are helping carers (opens a page in the Health section on this website)

Cerebra guide to PCNA's (opens a page on the Cerebra website)

Achieving for Children has the responsibility for doing the assessment. AfC then provide a personal support plan which describes the current support available. This will make your journey in getting support easier. The primary AfC services that will help you are:

  • Family Support
  • The Local Offer
  • Integrated Services for Children with Disabilities

You should complete this assessment, if you are:

  • aged 18 or over; AND
  • you provide unpaid care and support to a child or young person who is ill, frail, has a physical disability, has a learning disability, has sight or hearing loss, has mental health difficulties, has other additional needs OR, you are the parent or guardian of a disabled child ( the definition of disability is set out in section 17(11) Children Act 1989); AND
  • the person you care for lives within the boroughs of Kingston or Richmond (pays Council Tax to Kingston or Richmond Council). If the person lives in a different local authority area, please contact that local authority to request your Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA). All parents and carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs.

Please note:

  • support is not linked to your income or savings
  • you don’t have to provide care for a minimum number of days or hours
  • you don’t have to live with the person you care for
  • you may have other responsibilities like a job or looking after your family.

There is more information in the PCNA booklet which contains the application form. You can download this below.

A PCNA can be completed by parents and carers themselves (self-assessment) or with support from another organisation.  For instance, this could be the Single Point of Access (SPA) or a through a voluntary sector organisation such as Richmond Carer’s Centre or Kingston Carers Network.  

You can apply for a PCNA using this

Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA) booklet/form

The completed PCNA booklet must be returned to the Single Point of Access (SPA), either paper copy or electronically via e-mail.   The SPA will contact you once you have returned the completed assessment. A full timeline for the process is on page 15 of the assessment booklet and the process will be completed within 20 working days.

There is a separate process for this as a child or young person over 18 is classed as an adult. Therefore it would be Adult Social Services who would assess the needs of a parent or carer of a young person over 18.

Find out more and how to apply online in the Adult Social Care section of the Kingston website

Find out more and how to apply online in the Richmond Care and Support website