Frequently Asked Questions..
Am I a Carer?
A Carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a parent, partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental health issues, substance misuse or disability.
This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally in a paid capacity, or through a voluntary organisation.
You do not have to be in receipt of Carers Allowance in order to be recognised as a Carer.
Caring can take a variety of forms, such as personal care, practical help with things like shopping or housework, emotional support, or help with managing behaviours or relationships.
About 1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) are Carers.
Am I a ‘Young Carer’?
A Young Carer is a person under the age of 18, who provides or intends to provide care for another person. You may not realise you're a Carer because looking after someone is part of your normal life. Caring can cover lots of different things, such as washing, dressing, preparing meals, housework, or even helping to look after a brother or sister.
Do I have to live with the person I support to be classed as a Carer?
Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, older or disabled family member, friend or partner. It could be a few hours a week or round the clock, in their own home, or down the motorway. You don’t have to be living with your loved one to be helping care for them.
Who should I tell I’m a Carer?
You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re a Carer, but it can be useful to register as a Carer if you are trying to access certain discounts or services.
You can register as a Carer at your GP practice, either by speaking to your GP or asking at reception to let them know that you are a Carer.
Putting your caring status on your record can be really helpful as your GP may offer more flexible services to Carer’s or keep a closer eye on your health.
You may also want to tell your employer to see if they can help and support you with your caring responsibilities.
You can also register with ourselves North Staffs Carers by clicking on the following link https://www.carersfirst.com/how-to-refer or calling the team on 01782 793100.
What support is available for Carers?
Support is flexible to meet the needs of Carers and their families adopting a person centred approach in order to minimise the impact of the caring role within the family unit.
Support we provide :
• One to one assistance from a Carers Support Worker
• Emotional Support, Practical Information and Advice
• Carers Support and Social Groups
• Drop In Sessions
• Complimentary Therapies
• Benefit and Legal Advice
• Assistance and referral into other external organisations to maximise Carer support
• Telephone befriending service
• Assistance in completion of benefit forms to aid financial stability
Our Young Carers Team focus on the complex needs of the Young Carers (aged 5 – 18) within the context of the family. Supporting Young Carers on a one to one basis, support within schools/colleges along with an in house counselling service. The project also offers a selection of activities and age appropriate wellbeing sessions.
Support is flexible meeting individual needs of the Carer and their families adopting a holistic family approach to minimise the impact of the caring role within the family.
Our services are available to all Young/Adult Carers living in North Staffordshire.
Referrals are accepted from Carers themselves, Education, Health and Social Care Services, relatives, friends and Voluntary organisations.
Are there any Carers Support Groups locally?
Please see the link below for our Adult Carers Support Groups
Please see the link below for our Young Carers Support Groups
How can my local Council Adult Social Care services support me?
Caring for a loved one who is ill, disabled or older can be valuable and rewarding, but without the right support caring can have an impact on your health, your job, your finances, and social life.
Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities/borough councils have a legal duty to provide Carers with a Carers Assessment. Under the Children & Families Act 2014, Young Carers are entitled to a Carers Assessment in their own right.
If you care for someone, you may be eligible for support and you can have an assessment to see what might help make your life easier. This assessment does not take into account your finances.
Is there any additional support for Carers of people with mental health problems?
If you/your loved one is accessing our Community Mental Health Teams you will be able to ask them about support. How you access the support may vary depending on where you live.
Am I entitled to any benefits or allowances?
As a Carer, you could be entitled to some benefits or allowances.
There are benefits just for carers, some for people with a disability, and some to help you if you have a low income.
If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring, you may be able to claim Carer’s allowance. You may be able to get extra money added to your existing benefits or credits if you claim Carer’s allowance. This is called Carer premium.
Carers credit is not a payment, but helps people protect their state retirement pension.
Carers credit is for people who are unable to work or have cut down their working hours as a result of caring, and therefore not pay national insurance contributions.
If you are not entitled to Carer’s allowance, you may be able to claim Carer’s credit instead.
Benefits for the person you care for
Help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.
Find out about claiming:
Attendance Allowance (AA) - for help with personal care for people aged 65 or over.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - to help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – a benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care. DLA is ending for people aged 16-64.
If you, or the person you care for, need extra help to pay for something there are many grants, funds, and charities that may be able to help.
Turn2us is a free service that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face. The website has a free and easy to use grants search and benefits calculator.
Grants for individuals lets you search online for funders and grants if you subscribe.
If you need help to fill in the forms, ask the fund if they can support you, or ask a health or social care professional that supports you or the person you care for, to see if they can help.
What is a Carers Assessment?
A Carers Assessment is for anyone over 18 years old who is looking after another adult over 18 years old. It is free, and is separate from the needs assessment the person you care for might have, but you can ask to have them both done at the same time. It looks at your physical, mental and emotional needs.
Any Carer who is in need of support can have an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care they provide, finances or level of need for support.
Visit the NHS website to find out more.
A Carers Assessment might recommend things like someone to take over caring so you can take a break; exercise classes to relieve stress; help with taxi fares if you don't drive; help with gardening and housework; training how to lift safely or putting you in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk who can give advice about benefits for Carers.
How do I get a Carer’s Assessment?
You need to contact adult social services at your local council. Please select the right one based on where you/your loved on live.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council Contact Centre – 0800 561 0015
Or click on the link below:
Staffordshire Social Care – 0300 111 8010
Or click on the link below:
The person I am caring for will not agree to a needs assessment themselves. Could I still be offered support as a Carer?
You don’t need the permission of the person you are caring for to request a Carers assessment. You are entitled to ask for one in your own right.
Can I have a Carers assessment if the person I care for does not currently get help from the Council?
Yes - but you will need to do this through the council of the person that you support, if it is not the same as your own.
You can also ask for an assessment for the person you care for, if you want to.
I share providing care with other family members/friends. Can we all have a Carers assessment?
Everyone who gives unpaid care to an adult over the age of 18, and has some need for support, can request an individual Carer’s assessment.
They do not have to be done together.
Will I be asked about my finances?
You won’t need to do a financial means test as part of the Carer’s assessment, but you might be asked about what impact the cost of caring is having on your finances.
The Carer’s Allowance that some people receive for caring on a full-time basis is different, and does require a means test.
What happens after the assessment?
The Council will write to you about the outcome of your assessment and tell you whether your support needs are eligible or not.
If you have eligible needs, the next step will be to develop your support plan with a social care professional. Your plan will details the things you want to achieve, and how you will achieve them.
Whatever the decision, you will be offered advice and information about services and organisations that could support you, and prevent or delay your need for further support in the future.
What happens if my needs change or if I need more support?
If either of these things happen, the council of the person that you support will be able to discuss your situation with you and agree the next steps to take.
What about parents caring for disabled children, or Young Carers who are under 18?
If you are a Young Carer yourself, or if you are a parent caring for a disabled child, you have similar rights to assessment and support but they are covered by the Children and Families Act, not the Care Act.
If you or the person you are caring for is about to reach the age of 18 years, you will be able to get a ‘transition assessment’ which will let you know whether you or they are likely to be eligible for support as an adult caring for another adult.
What does ‘Advocacy’ mean?
Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and to help make sure your voice is heard. Someone who helps people in this way is called an advocate. Patients can sometimes struggle to communicate their views or to feel confident in expressing their thoughts with clinical staff. With the consent of the person you care for, you will be able to advocate on their behalf. If the patient prefers, staff can arrange for them to access a trained, independent advocate who will support them in meetings and/or with appointments.
What is the Care Act 2014?
The Care Act 2014 changed the way care and support was delivered, making it more consistent across the country. The act puts people in control of the help they receive, and ensures any decisions about care and support also consider wellbeing to support people in staying healthy and independent for longer. Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives, and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care.
The Care Act 2014 gives a bigger say to people who receive care and support or look after someone as a Carer. This includes listening to what sort of care is best for you and your family.
A focus on promoting wellbeing.
A right to a Carer’s assessment based on the appearance of need.
A right for Carers’ eligible needs to be met.
A duty on local councils to provide information and advice to carers in relation to their caring role and their own needs.
Employment Rights Act 1996
From 30 June 2014, anyone has the right to request flexible working for any reason as long as you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.
If you find it difficult to balance your work life with your caring responsibilities (and your other commitments) you may want to ask for flexible working.
Flexible working could mean:
flexible starting and finishing hours,
compressed working hours (where you work full-time hours but over fewer days),
part time working, or
working from home.
For more information about being a working carer
What does Consent mean?
Carers, have a legal right to decide whether or not they wish staff to share their information with anyone, including their Carers, partners and families. This is called ‘consent to share’.
Providing the person you care for agrees to share their information with you, you will be able to participate in conversations about their treatment. If you would like to know more about consent and the circumstances when we would share information, please speak a member of staff within the team you/your loved one are accessing.
Safeguarding: Important Information
Safeguarding situations where there is concern about potential abuse or neglect. The local councils and North Staffs Carers will always respond in situations where there is concern.
If the local Council or North Staffs Carers have reason to suspect that you or any other adult is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect then this will be reported.
If you are worried about yourself or another person, please contact the following:
Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Referral Team (SRT)
8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Thursday
8.30am- 4.30pm Friday
Emergency Duty Team (out of hours)
Tel No. 01782 234234
Non-emergency - call Staffordshire Police on 101
Staffordshire’s First Response
0800 1313 126
8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Thursday
8.30am- 4.30pm Friday
EDS (out of hours) Tel No. 0345 604 2886
Or email: email@example.com
Non-emergency - call Staffordshire Police on 101