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Age UK have produced two excellent information guides to download providing advice for carers on the Carers Assessment, having a break, benefits, rights and entitlements.
The information is useful to all carers as well as carers of the elderly.
Care for the Family - Befrienders
Care for the Family is a national charity which aims to promote strong family life and to help those who face family difficulties.
Care for the Family’s befriending service offers understanding and support to parents of children with additional needs.
All befrienders are trained and are, themselves, parents of children with additional needs who can share insights and encouragement from their own personal experiences.
Nicola who coordinates the Additional Needs project, has many years’ experience in working with families where there is a child with additional needs and understands the challenges parents face.
Through the befriending service, many parents have found it a huge help to speak with someone who has ‘been there’ too.
Here are some comments:
“Talking with another parent in a similar situation helps me to deal with the well-meaning but often inappropriate comments from other parents around me who just don’t get it.”
“Strangely, off-loading my emotions and sharing practical issues with someone who had an understanding really helped me and my relationship with other family members.”
“Care for the Family provided a network to help me raise my child so I am no longer just one mum in isolation.”
If you would like to be put in touch with a trained befriender, please telephone: 029 2081 0800
or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Additional Needs Support please visit the website.
The charity also offers support towards activity holidays for single parents.
If you require support in your caring role your first point of contact should be the Social Services Department.
They can discuss any difficulties and undertake a formal assessment of your needs called a Carer's Assessment and possibly a Community Care Assessment of the person you are caring for.
As a carer or parent of a disabled child you are entitled to a Carer's Assessment even if the person you care for is not receiving support from Social Services.
Having an assessment is important as it can establish the help you need in your caring role and whether any support or funding could be provided from Statutory sources.
Social Services will then include this support in the disabled person's care plan.
If Social Services are unable to help they will (hopefully) have available a list of local organisations who will be able to support you.
Carers Direct is a national information, advice and support service for carers in England run by the NHS.
It has a Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053 providing a free confidential advice to carers. It is open: Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and weekends 11am to 4pm.
The Carers Trust (formally The Princess Royal Trust and Crossroads Care) provides support to carers mainly through a network of Carers Services for carers and young carers.
The local carers groups within the network have access to funding to support carers. It is usually available for respite, holidays, personal development, pampering and other awards providing relief to carers.
They also provide advice and guidance, advocacy support and may organise regular forums for the opportunity to voice opinions and concerns to influence future policy and decisions for carers.
The website is full of useful information on everything to do with being a carer including Carers Allowance and how to obtain a Carers Assessment.
They have recently published a useful Carers Guide to Managing Medicines (England only).
Carers UK aims to provide a voice to carers by campaigning for change and gathering evidence to challenge carers rights.
It provides information on all aspects of caring such as Direct Payments, how to maintain your state pension and carers rights in the workplace.
Contact provide support, advice and information for all families with a disabled child.
They have a free telephone helpline 0808 808 3555 open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm which is able to help with most issues concerning disabled children and their families.
There is also detailed information on support in a variety of areas. You do need to follow the links to access the information.
The National Family Carer Network links groups and organisations that support families that include an adult with learning disabilities.
If you are a familiy carer the organisation can help you find a local support group, information and other resources.
Skills for Care provides resources for individual employers who employ personal assistants to provide their care.
The resources range from recruiting a care assistant to supporting their education and training.
Individual employer Funding - Money is available for employers to pay for themselves or/and their PA's to go on training. The funding may be used to pay for courses such as emergency first aid and condition specific awareness training.
User-Led Organisation Funding - to deliver learning and development for individual employers and personal assistants.
Working Families supports parents and carers in finding a balance between home and work.
It provides information and guides for working parents and carers on employment rights and benefits.
The organisation also run the "Waving not Drowning" project for parents of disabled children and carers of adults who want to combine work with their caring responsibilities. It sends out a newsletter 2 or 3 times a year and a monthly e-bulletin.
The "Waving not Drowning" helpline 020 7017 0072 is able to answer questions about work and caring.