Carers play a vital role in our community by looking after those who are in ill health, disabled, vulnerable or frail.
Social Services recognises the immense value that carers provide in the care of others and our aim is to ensure that wherever possible the services provided are responsive to the needs and circumstances of the individual carer.
To achieve this aim we believe it is important that the following principles are recognised in determining the needs of the carer:
- There should be a common concern for the well-being of the person being ‘cared for’.
- Carers should be supported to have a short break from the caring role.
- Freedom for carers to have a life of their own.
- Recognise the need to assist in maintaining the carer’s health.
- Carers and those ‘cared for’ need to have confidence in services provided.
- Carers need to have a say in service provision.
- Carers have a wealth of knowledge and experience about the care they provide and will be seen as partners in the provision of this care.
- Carers will be empowered to make more choices for themselves and have more control over their own lives, so that individual wishes can be respected.
- Services will be equally accessible to people regardless of age, gender, disability, culture or race.
- Carers will be respected and valued as people in their own right with their own needs as carers, separate from the needs of the people for whom they care.
Who is a carer?
A carer is anyone who provides a great deal of care on a regular basis for a member of their family or a friend – but is not employed to do so. Carers don’t choose top become carers, it happens because of an overwhelming concern and compassion for the person they care for.
A carer is someone who provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.
A young carer is a child or a young person under the age of 18 carrying out significant caring tasks and assuming a level of responsibility for another person, which would normally be taken by an adult.
Young carers face serious caring responsibilities and the physical and emotional strain is sometimes very demanding. They also have the added pressure of school and often a lack of understanding of the role they play.
Any carer providing regular and substantial care is entitled to an assessment of their needs by Social Services. The Carer’s Assessment is an interview or a series of interviews with the carer, to see what help the carer may need to be able to go on looking after the person being ‘cared for’.
It is not about judging the way you are caring for someone. It is a chance for you to make sure that we understand your needs as a carer from your point of view, and for us to tell you about the kinds of support that might assist you to care and also aid you in preserving your own health, enabling you to continue your caring role.
What happens next?
Following the assessment we will discuss the levels of help you provide. The assessment will list all of the tasks you do and from this we can agree how best to help you.