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Carers' Support and Assessment

Who are Carers?

Carers are people who look after family members or friends who need care, help or support. 

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 Assessment

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.

The Social Services & Well Being Act 2014 replaced a good deal of previous carers Legislation but you might find this of interest

 

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:

Carers Self Advocacy Toolkit

 Carers' Support and Assistance

Carers Assessment factsheet

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. 

Carers - More Information

Financial Support

Financial Support

Carers and Pension

Caring for someone can have a devastating impact on Carers’ longer term pension and Carers need to be aware of their pensions as a result. To be eligible to receive a full basic State Pension, a person must have made a certain amount of National Insurance (NI) contributions towards it throughout their working life. If a person is unable to do this because they are caring for children or for a disabled, ill or frail adult, then the state will credit their contributions. However, this only happens if they claim the right benefits and take the right action.

For more information visit:

www.carersuk.org/Information/Caringforyourpension


For advice and information on all aspects of caring contact:

Carers UK’s Adviceline on:
freephone 0808 808 7777 (Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm and 2pm - 4pm) or
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other financial support

Looking after Someone, a complete guide to carers’ rights and benefits, is available from:

Carers UK Tel: 020 7378 4999

Carers UK’s helpline - speak to an advisor for a full benefits check by ringing the

Helpline on 0808 808 7777

Age Cymru has a huge amount of information on financial support for older people.

Call their free helpline on 08000 223444 or visit
www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/money-matters

The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent non-profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions, including state, company, personal and stakeholder schemes.

Call 0845 601 2923 or
visit www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

Directgov is an excellent online source of information on benefits and pensions

www.direct.gov.uk/pensions

Carers Direct also provides information on carers’ pensions and other aspects of caring:

www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect

Contact a Family Specialist Benefit Adviser

Tel: 0808 808 3555

Legislation

Legislation

Disabled Persons (Services Consultation & Representation) Act 1986 section 8

This requires that, during an assessment of a disabled person, the ability of carers who provide substantial amount of care on a regular basis is taken into account.

Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995

This Act requires the social services authority (if so requested) to carry out a separate assessment of the carer (a “Carers’s assessment”) at the same time as it assesses the person for whom the care is provided.

The act applies both to adult and young carers regardless of the age of the person for whom they provide care.

It defines the carer as an individual who provides or intends to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis. For the purposes of the
Act the term carer includes people who may or may not be a relative, and who may or may not be living with the person for whom they are caring. The Act excludes volunteers who provide care as part of their work for voluntary organisations and anyone who is providing care by virtue of a contract of employment or any other contract. This would include anyone who is providing personal assistance for payment, either in cash or in kind.

Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000

This Act gives carers a ‘right’ to a carer’s assessment if they are aged over 16 years old and are providing or intending to provide regular and substantial care for someone aged over 18 years. Carers are entitled to an assessment even when the person they care for refuses to have an assessment or having had an assessment refuses to accept services.

It also includes the right for parents of children with disabilities to request an assessment

It provides the power to provide services for carers in their own right, following an assessment of their needs as well as the power to charge for those services.

The act introduced Direct Payments (i.e. cash instead of care) to parent carers, carers for their own services and young disabled people aged 16 and 17 years.

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004

This places a duty on social care to inform carers of their right to request a carer’s assessment. It also gives the provision for a local authority to
ask another statutory authority or body (such as housing, health, education and other local authorities) to assist in planning the provision of services to carers or to provide services that may enhance the carer’s ability to provide care. The other authority must give the request due consideration.

In relation to work, training education and leisure the Act amends both the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 by ensuring that carer’s assessments must include consideration of whether carers work, or wish to work, and are undertaking or wish to undertake, education, training or any leisure activity.

Work and Families Act 2006

The Work and Families legislation came in 2006, and allows carers of adults the same right to request flexible working as carers of children. Employers do not have to agree to the request, but must make a good business case if refused.

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008

This requires local authorities to make adequate arrangements for short break provision for Disabled Children. In addition the Welsh Assembly Government has a range of powers to inspect, regulate and issue statutory guidance in respect of local authority services under the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. It also has powers to direct the NHS under the National Health Services (Wales) Act 2006.

Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure

In January 2012 the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010 came into force. This legislation places a duty on the Local Health Boards to lead on preparing and implementing a carer’s information and consultation strategy. For Cardiff and the Vale the lead health Board is the University Health Board (UHB) who working in partnership with several stakeholders including, Vale Council, Cardiff Council, Vale Council for Voluntary Services (VCVS), Cardiff’s
Third Sector Council (C3SC), Third Sector representatives, Carers representatives and additional UHB services have began this work. At current a working group made up of the above have helped the UHB produce a draft outline of the strategy and what will be included.

Strategies will:

  • set out how information and guidance will be provided to carers, that will assist them in carrying out their caring role effectively; and
  • set out how carers will be consulted and involved in decisions affecting them and those they care for.

LHBs are designated as the ‘lead authority’ in the Regulations. They will be required to lead the work to develop and implement the Strategies, working in partnership with Social Services.

‘Carers and their rights: the law relating to carers’, published by Carers UK by Professor Luke Clements.
www.carersuk.org/professionals/order-publications

This fifth edition includes updates based on a number of statutory and case law developments since the last edition, implementation of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 and the Work and Families Act 2006, the impact of the Equality Act 2010 and coincides with the first tangible impacts of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010.

Social Services & Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014

Social Services & Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014

In April 2016 the Social Services & Wellbeing Act (2014) became law. It replaces much existing legislation that impacts upon disabled people and carers by bringing much legislation together.

It should change the way that support is offered to carers and their families by placing them at the heart of decisions.

Rather than focus on the 'problem' and then try to find a 'fix', practitioners and people in receipt of services will be encouraged to identify what help they feel is required in order to achieve a desired outcome.

In this way resources should be better used, individuals have more of a say in how resources are used on their behalf and the focus will move on preventing an escalation of need rather than waiting until a situation becomes a crisis.

All parties should be encouraged to look to opportunities and support possibilities that exist within the community (or could be developed) rather than having to fit a limited range of rigid options.

A more comprehensive description can be found here while an easy to follow introduction can be found here and here. the latter is aimed at children and their services but is nonetheless relevant.

The aims of the act reflect those that we have argued for over two decades but as ever we await its introduction to assess how it is actually implemented.

The parents Federation and third sector organisations have been involved in consultations with Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils' over how their approach to working with families is likely to change and shall continue feeding back parental views as the Act comes into force. It's Person centred approach offers much and many people may find opportunities increase as a direct consequence.

As with all new legislation there are many loose ends and some key issues will likely be subject to future legal challenges where definitions of statutory obligations are worked out. A critique of the act can be found here .

this page will be updated in the coming months but aims to be a basic introduction and signposting resource to families.

Young Carers

Young Carers

Many young people combine school and early life with caring for a parent, sibling or close relative. Very often they receive little or no support and have to cope in isolation, denied the tame and spave they need as a young person for their own development.

There are many schemes and services available but accessing them can be difficult

The YMCA in Cardiff are working across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to identify these hidden carers in order to be able to offer them the support and assistance that they need.

If you know of a young carer please contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone her on 07807 084202

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