Caring for Carers
Carers: help and support
What is a carer?
A carer is someone who looks after somebody who due to illness, disability or mental health difficulty, cannot cope without their support.
They might help them with washing, dressing or eating, arrange and take them to appointments or keep them company when they’re lonely or anxious.
You might not think of yourself as a carer. But you probably are if you’re looking after someone regularly, including your spouse or a family member, because they’re ill or disabled.
How NCH&C supports staff who are carers
Around 1 in 9 of all employees juggles work with care, so it is more common than you might think. Although most of us will care for another person at some point in our lives, sometimes it can happen quickly and we may feel unprepared. Some people may find it difficult to talk about these issues in the workplace. It’s helpful as a trust to understand and capture who our unpaid carers are, where they are working and how we can best support them. We can record this on ESR and staff who wish their record to be updated to reflect this should ask their line manager to email HR Service Support with the employee’s payroll number and name and request that ESR is updated to reflect a working carer status.
NCH&C wants to encourage staff to have discussions their line managers about their caring responsibilities in order to enable them to balance being a carer and an employee.
A good place to start having such conversations either as a carer or a manager of a carer is by completing a Working Carer’s Passport (NCH&C staff: you can find this by searching Carers Passport on the NCH&C Intranet). This will identify you as a carer and help to provide you with a framework to have a discussion around support that could be put into place. This could include flexible working options. This passport goes with the carer between roles at NCH&C and should be updated and reviewed on a regular basis or when circumstances change.
As managers it’s important to understand who is a working carer within your team and ask them how they’d like to be supported. This can be done during 1:1 conversations. The Working Carer’s Passport provides a useful way to guide and capture these conversations.
Visit the Employers for Carers (EfC) digital platform, which provides line managers with useful tools and interactive resources to learn how best to support working carers.
Share Employers for Carers with the carers in your team. It provides useful materials to support carers as they balance caring responsibilities with work.
The Carers UK’s Digital Resource for Carers also provides a range of useful tools and resources to support working carers. If you want to access the resources on this site please contact HR Service Support who will provide you with login details.
Wider support for carers
Your local council might be able to arrange practical help if you are a carer. This could include things like arranging for someone to step in for a while to give you a break or providing some extra support for the person you care for, to give you more time for your other responsibilities. To see if you can get practical help, you’ll need the council to carry out a carer’s assessment. All carers are entitled to this.
There are distinct types of carer and based on this, each one will require access to specifically tailored advice & support.
Carers aged 18 and over who provide (or intend to provide) necessary unpaid care to an adult aged 18 and over. They have a legal right to a Carers Assessment and can be supported by Carers Matter Norfolk or Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services; depending on their situation and case complexity.
Carers under the age of 18 are entitled to a Young Carers Assessment. This is delivered by Children’s Services Early Help Teams – call 0344 800 8021. Young carers can also receive support from Carers Matter Norfolk.
Young adult carers
Young carers aged 16-17 who are likely to continue caring when they reach the age of 18. They are entitled to a Transition Carers Assessment, to ensure they receive appropriate advice, information & support; and are prepared for adult hood, particularly if they are likely to continue caring. These are undertaken by NCC Children’s Services.
Parent carers of children with a disability under the age of 18 are entitled to a Parent Carer Needs Assessment, which is delivered by the Children With Disabilities Team.
As a carer, you may be entitled to one or more state benefits to help you with the costs. Click here for more information.
Carers Matter Norfolk provide free, independent and confidential support for unpaid carers living in Norfolk.
You can contact them for information and advice about:
- Financial and practical support to help you in your caring role
- Your rights as a carer
- Support for your health and wellbeing
- Education and training to help you as a carer
- How you can have your say through Carers Voice about services, policies and decisions that affect you or the people you care for