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2.4 Support for Carers


This chapter was updated in October 2015 in regard to ‘How Your Carer’s Budget is Decided’.


  1. Support for Carers
  2. Carers Assessments
  3. Carer Support Service
  4. Planning for Emergencies
  5. Young Carers
  6. Breaks From Caring

1. Support for Carers

Carers are people who provide unpaid support to family members or friends due to illness, disability, substance misuse or mental health issues. Carers are a vital source of support to enable people to maximise their independence and to live successfully in the community.

Carers often have their own needs for support and it is important that staff do not make assumptions about the level of support that family members, friends or carers can offer. Staff should always determine what level of support the carer is willing and able to provide and, where appropriate, involve the carer in the assessment and support planning process of the person they are caring for. Staff should also discuss what support the carer may need to maintain their caring role and to have a life outside of caring.

2. Carers Assessments

A carers needs assessment is an opportunity for the carer to discuss how caring is impacting on their life and what would be helpful to them. Carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs even if the person they are caring for does not want or need an assessment.

If the person they are caring for is not having an assessment, then the carers assessment would usually be carried out by the Carer Support Service. This is often called a ‘stand-alone’ or separate carers assessment.

If the cared for person is having an assessment, then the carers assessment would normally be completed by the social worker or care manager completing the assessment. This can be completed jointly with the carer and cared for person if they are both in agreement. This is often called a ‘combined’ or ‘joint’ assessment.

If the carer does not want to have an assessment, they should still be included in the assessment and support planning for the person they are caring for, where appropriate.

The Local Authority has a duty to meet the eligible needs of carers identified through the carers assessment. We are currently using a Resource Allocation System (RAS) for carers to allow a clear framework within which to determine an indication of the budget available to meet carers eligible needs. This is linked to the carers assessment so the person completing the carers assessment should be able to explain the process in more detail.

There are a range of services available locally to support carers, even if they do not want to have a carers assessment and staff should signpost carers to these services.

3. Carer Support Service

The Carer Support Service is a team of dedicated Carer Support Workers and Care Managers for Carers in Adult Social Care whose primary role is to identify and raise awareness of the needs of carers and provide carers assessments and support to carers of adults.

The team focus on supporting carers of people who are not linked in with Adult Social Care or Mental Health services. Their role includes:

  • Signposting and referring carers to relevant support services;
  • Liaising with other professionals on the carers behalf to ensure the appropriate support is in place for the carer and the person they are caring for;
  • Issuing basic equipment to support or reduce the caring role;
  • Supporting carers to look after their own health & wellbeing;
  • Completing carers assessments and support plans.

The Carer Support Service also offer advice and guidance to assessment staff around support for carers. They can joint work with other professionals where the input of a separate worker would be appropriate to ensure the carer is supported.

Contact details:
Access Point
01273 295555.

4. Planning for Emergencies

Carers often experience stress and anxiety around what would happen if they are ill or experience an emergency which may mean they are unable to provide care temporarily.

Brighton & Hove has an Emergency Back-Up Scheme for Carers which aims to give carers peace of mind through registering a plan for providing alternative support to the person they care for in an emergency. The plans are stored on the council’s Adult Social Care database and also registered with Carelink, who manage the scheme on behalf of the council, in order to provide a 24hr response service.

For more information on this scheme please visit or contact the Access Point:
01273 295555.

5. Young Carers

Young carers should be protected from taking on inappropriate caring responsibilities for an adult or disabled sibling. Inappropriate levels of caring may impact on their own development and therefore staff should try and ensure that the appropriate level of support is put in place for the cared for person to ensure that young carers are not taking on excessive caring responsibilities.

Young carers are also entitled to a carers assessment. This is normally completed jointly with the person being cared for to ensure that the needs of the whole family are taken into account.

However there are times where the young carer may benefit from having their own carers assessment, or may need to be assessed by Children’s Services where it appears that the caring role is having a significant impact on their developmental needs.

Young carers can also access advice and support through the Young Carers Project based at the Carers Centre:
01273 746222.

6. Breaks From Caring

There are a range of services available locally to support carers in their caring role. Where staff or carers are identifying the need for carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities and this will require replacement care for the person they are caring for, the cared for person will need to have an assessment and the appropriate support arranged through their own support plan. The Resource Allocation System (RAS) used to determine the personal budget following an assessment includes an allocation of funding to enable the carer to have a break, where this has been identified as a need in the assessment.