A carer isn't necessarily someone who puts on a uniform and goes to work; a carer is someone who supports and regularly looks after someone who is sick or disabled.

When we talk about carers, it's important to know that these are not always professional carers in paid roles.  Often, a carer will be a close friend or family member of a person requiring support.

Some stats about carers...

1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people in the UK) are carers
  • By 2037, it's thought that the number of carers will increase to 9 million.
  • Every day in the UK, another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility for a loved one.

Luckily, The Care Act is here to help and protect such carers in the UK.

The Care Act states that Local Authorities are required to give information, advice and guidance so that all individuals can understand and navigate the care and support system, and where necessary, plan for their futures.

Local Authorities also have a duty to assess carers in terms of their ability to provide support on all levels for another person.  

Independent Care Act Advocacy (2014) - key statements for you to know:

“All agencies need to know how the services of an advocate can be accessed and what their role is.”  – Care and Support Statutory Guidance, 7.27

“The overall aim should be for people who need advocacy to be identified and, when relevant, receive consistent support as early as possible and throughout the assessment, care and support planning, and review process.” – Care and Support Statutory Guidance, 7.40

Assessments for Carers

Remember that you are unlikely to be classed as a carer if you are providing care/support:

  • In a paid capacity
  • As part of voluntary work/projects

A Carer’s Assessment will look at:

  • Current and future support needs of the carers - what help is needed?
  • Sustainability of the caring role - how long can you carry out this role and the impact this has on you and the person you are caring for
  • Current and future impact of the caring role on outcomes you wish to achieve - will this have a positive outcome for all involved?

For a carer's needs to be classed as eligible, all three of the following conditions must be met:

  • A carer's own needs arise directly as a result of providing necessary care for another person
  • A carer’s physical or mental health is at risk of deteriorating due to their role
  • As a result of both facts, there is - or is likely to be - a significant impact on the carer’s well-being

How can an Advocate help you as a carer?

Our Independent Care Act Advocates can:

  • Assist you to understand processes and policies involved in your caring role
  • Assist you to communicate the views, wishes and feelings of yourself and the person you care for
  • Assist you to understand how your loved one's needs can be best met
  • Assist you to make decisions about care and support for both you and your loved one
  • Assist you to understand your rights under the Care Act
  • Assist you to challenge any decisions made about you or the person you care for

At Advocacy Focus, we recognise that carers are selfless in supporting their loved ones, even though they may have needs themselves.  We exist to support those carers in any way we can to ensure that everybody gets the care and support that they deserve.

Refer for an Advocate

The Local Authority must arrange an Independent Advocate to facilitate your involvement in carer's assessments under the Care Act 2014 if they consider that:

  • you would experience substantial difficulty in understanding the processes or in communicating their views, wishes or feelings and
  • there is no appropriate individual to help you.

Therefore, to refer for an Advocate you will need to be referred to us by your local council’s social care service.

  • If you are not certain whether someone you are working with is entitled to an Advocate, or are confused about how to refer for an Advocate, please feel free to contact us for more information. 

Call us Advocacy Focus on: 0300 323 0965 or email: [email protected]