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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 places a duty on local councils and health boards to promote an individual’s well-being. This includes children, adults with care and support needs, and their carers.

The law gives carers proper recognition and makes it a requirement that they receive practical and emotional support to live as normal a life as possible.


The Act came into effect on April 6, 2016 and it brings together much of the previous legislation relating to carers:

  • The Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
  • The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000
  • The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004
  • The Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010

What the new law means for carers

The new legislation defines a carer as ‘a person who provides or intends to provide care for an adult or disabled child’.

The big change is that you no longer need to be providing ‘a substantial amount of care on a regular basis’ to be recognised as someone’s carer.

The new law places more emphasis on people making decisions about – and taking responsibility for – their own well-being.

Carers will have an equal right to assessment for support as the person they care for. They will also have more say about what support they need and where that support comes from.

If you are not able or willing to continue caring

No-one should feel pressurised into looking after someone or continuing to look after someone.

The new Act states that local councils must not assume the carers are able and/or willing to continue caring.

The Equalities Act 2010

This law makes it illegal for someone to be discriminated against or treated unfavourably because they are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled.

Citizens Advice has published a booklet, Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know as a carer?'

Last updated: 21/02/2023