Who are Carers?
Carers are people who look after family members or friends who need care, help or support.
This includes parents and close relatives - if you support a disabled son or daughter then you are a carer!
Please take time to view this short video clip that has been produced by the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers http://bit.ly/CarersRightsAWF
Carers can be adults caring for other adults, parents caring for ill or disabled children under the age of 18, or young carers aged 17 or under who care for another family member. Caring often impacts on the whole family. There is not a typical carer.
Some carers do not see themselves as carers, but see themselves primarily as a parent, child, wife or husband, partner, friend or neighbour. Some carers live in the same house as the person for whom they care. Others live nearby and visit regularly. Some live a distance away and visit weekly or monthly. Caring often impacts on the whole family.
Under recent legislation a carer does not have to be providing regular care in order to be recognised as such, the new legal definition of a carer is
“a person who provides or intends to provide care for an adult or disabled child (but excludes paid carers etc)”
The Social Service and Well-being Act (2014) also makes local authorities (and some other bodies) responsible for ensuring carers are better informed and supported. The act replaces much previous legislation that was introduced by the Welsh Assembly and central government but was influenced (and accommodates) some of the principles in earlier strategies and acts. If you support a disabled person it is essential that you make yourself familiar with the core principles of this act. An easy read and useful video clip can be found at the above link.
The Welsh Assembly Government seek to ensure that carers:
- Are not disadvantaged as a consequence of fulfilling their caring responsibilities
- Are listened to, treated with respect and receive recognition for the important contribution they make in supporting people to sustain their independence
- Are able to maintain as normal a life as possible outside of their caring role
- Have timely access to an assessment of their own needs
- Have access to services that will enable them to be properly supported
- Are able to access employment, education and leisure opportunities
Carers may be entitled to help from social services who can offer a range of services from practical help with household tasks, short term respite breaks, to emotional support to give you the chance to discuss your concerns or situation.
In order to find out what help would be of use to the Carer and the Cared for person, a Carers Assessment will need to be completed. If you are 16 or over and look after an adult on a regular basis, you are entitled to a Carers Assessment.
You are entitled to an assessment even if the person you care for has refused an assessment for community care services.
On contacting social services, initial enquiries will establish if the person cared for is someone who the Local Authority may provide or arrange for the provision of community care services. If needed and the cared for person agrees, an assessment of the needs of the cared for person will take place.
A Carers Assessment will look at the help you provide to the person you care for and the type and amount of care you are providing.
Following the carers assessment, if you are eligible, a plan of action will be drawn up. The local authority, independent or voluntary organisations may provide services.
If you are not eligible social services will offer you advice and information about other ways your needs may be met.
A number of pieces of legislation, can give carers rights in the Assessment process.
Support for Carers
Local councils will have individual arrangements for the provision of support for Carers. The Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff have dedicated Carers Officers. Their websites contain links to other useful local authority resources that may be open to you as a carer
Advice and support on financial matters including pensions for Carers is available from a number of sources. Carers UK are a good resource and can give information on a wide range of carer related issues- not solely carers of people with a learning disability.
We recommend you look at two recent guides that they have published:
Disabled Children Assisted Childcare Places 5 –14 years
If you are a carer of a disabled child in Cardiff you may be able to access funding for them to attend a local playscheme
Children’s Play Services work closely with Childcare Business Support Team who allocate funding from the Welsh Government’s Out of School Childcare Grant to Children’s Play Services to manage the Assisted Childcare Places Scheme.
This partnership is offered to Disabled Children who’s Parent/Carers work or are in full-time Education. The support given to these Parents/Carers are that their Disabled Child would have one to one support in any childcare provision of their choice.
Each Disabled Child is offered 10 hours per week before/after school in term times and 20 hours per week in the Half Terms and Holidays and Parents/Carers pay for the Childcare.
Disabled Children and Young People can be and are referred by Special Needs Health Visitors, Social Workers, Teachers, Disability Team around the Family Teams and other professionals.