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When you care for others you can often forget about your own self-care. Why not read the Self Care document for some ways in which you can achieve your self care goals.
Carers play a vital role in our community by looking after those who are in ill health, disabled, vulnerable or frail and in recognition of this we aim to provide carers with the information, services, and support they need, to carry out their caring role.
Who is a carer?
A carer can be defined as 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.
The term carer should not be confused with care worker, or care assistant, who receives payment for looking after someone.
Carers usually fall into one of the three following categories:
- Adult Carers: an adult caring for another adult such as a husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, friend or relative.
- Parent Carers of Children with Disabilities: an adult who cares for a child with a long-term illness or a disability.
- Young Carers: a young person under the age of 18, who is in some way affected by the need to take physical, practical and/or emotional responsibility for the care of another person, usually taking on a level of responsibility that is inappropriate to their age or development.
It is recognised that these three types of carer are broad groups and that all carers are individuals and as such have differing and diverse needs.
The focus for our work with carers
Blaenau Gwent and its partner organisations will work together to achieve the following outcomes:
- Carers will be respected as care partners and will have access to the services they need to support them in their caring role.
- Carers will be able to have a life of their own alongside their caring role.
- Carers will be supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship by their caring role.
- Carers health and well-being will be promoted to assist them to stay mentally and physically well and their dignity respected.
- Children and young people will be protected from inappropriate caring and have the support they need to learn, develop and thrive, to enjoy positive childhoods and to optimise their abilities.
Our Key Principles
The key principles supporting Blaenau Gwent and its partner organisations are that carers will be treated with dignity and respect and in achieving this we will adopt the following principles of “respect”:
- Recognise Carers - we will actively support carers to recognise their caring role and encourage them to come forward to receive the support they require. We will also promote the need to ensure that professionals have the skills and competency to recognise carers when they come into contact with them.
- Empower Carers - we will ensure that carers are provided with accessible, up-to-date meaningful information that is responsive to their individual needs and available locally within their community to enable them to make informed choices.
- Support Carers - we will support carers to receive a range of services that are flexible, of good quality, tailored to meet their individual needs and that will provide them with the support they require to maintain their caring role for as long as they wish.
- Promote Carers - we will actively promote carers as people first, with the same rights as everyone else to have choice and control, quality of life, and aspirations in their own right, and separate to those of the person being cared for.
- Engage with Carers - we will ensure carers have a voice and are consulted and engaged with in respect of the planning and design of the services that affect them and those they care for.
- Consider the views of carers - we will ensure carers are actively involved in the assessment and care planning processes that will considers their views, recognise their contribution, knowledge and their rights.
- Take time to listen to carers - we will actively promote the availability and rights of carers to an assessment of their own needs that will focus on listening to the carer, valuing their experience and applying a carer-centred process with realistic outcomes.
How do I as a carer access help from Social Services?
Any carer providing regular care to a family member or friend is entitled by law to an assessment of their needs. This assessment is known as a ‘Carer Assessment’ and if you believe this assessment would be of help to you as a family carer, then contact the Social Services Department on 01495 315700 or alternatively send an e-mail to DutyTeamAdults@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk
The ‘Carers Assessment’ is an interview or a series of interviews with a carer, to determine what personal help the carer may need to be able to continue looking after the person they ‘care for’. The assessment is an opportunity for the carer to think about themselves and what support is needed.
What is the purpose of an assessment?
The assessment enables social workers to explore with the carer:
- the level of care the carer is able to provide
- the sustainability of the caring situation
- the carer’s health
- their personal circumstances and individual abilities and needs
Carers Support Services
- Understanding your care and support rights as you get older
- Care and Support Leaflet
- Young Carers Service
- Gwent Citizens Panel Leaflet
- Our Vision & Intentions for Adult Advocacy
- Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - Easy Read
- Understanding your rights as a carer
For information, advice or assistance, to make a referral or report concerns in relation to:
- a person aged 18 or over, please contact the Adult Services IAA Hub
- a child or young person, please contact the Children’s Services IAA Hub
Telephone: 01495 315700
Email Adults Team: DutyTeamAdults@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk
Email Children's IAA Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 01495 353350
Social Services Directorate