Support for carers

In Barnsley, it's estimated that 28,429 people are looking after and caring for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend.

What is a carer?

Many of the people we call carers, unpaid carers or sometimes informal carers, would probably say that they are just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour. For some people, taking on a caring role can be sudden; someone in your family may have had an accident or a child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can't manage on their own any longer; your partner's or your child's mental or physical health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing emotional or personal care day and night.

Carers help with personal things like getting someone dressed, turning them in their sleep, helping them to the loo, helping them move about or administering their medication. Carers also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, filling in forms or managing money.

Unpaid carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they experience, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.

Young carers  

Young carers are children and young people, under the age of 18, who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, or is affected by mental ill-health or substance misuse. They take on tasks that would normally be done by an adult.

Some young carers undertake high levels of care; others carry out low levels of care frequently. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person. Usually children and young people don’t want to stop 'caring' but would welcome some extra support to manage the task of being a carer.

In recognition of this, it’s important that we provide support to our young carers to help them balance their caring with their rights to be children or young people.

Find out more information about the support available for young carers.

Our carers' strategy

To make sure unpaid carers are supported we worked together with unpaid carers and other key partners to produce our local carers' strategy. The strategy recognises the need to support carers and enable carers to maintain a balance between their caring responsibilities and a life outside their caring role to preserve their personal health and wellbeing. 

Care Act carer's assessment

A carer’s assessment is the our way of working out whether in your role as an unpaid carer you are eligible for support from adult social care in accordance with the Care Act 2014. The assessment is a chance for you to discuss how your caring responsibilities affect you. Having a carer’s assessment means that you will be contacted by a social care practitioner to look at what help you may need to support in your caring role.

You'll be entitled to an assessment, whether or not the person you are looking after has had a Care Act assessment or is in receipt of support themselves from adult social care. If you and the person you are looking after agrees, a joint assessment of both your needs can be undertaken at the same time, however, if you prefer, your carers assessment can be completed separately.

Call us on (01226) 773300 to start your carer's assessment. Following your assessment, carers may also by eligible to receive a personal budget to meet their assessed care needs.

Find out more information about whether you're eligible for support in the Care Act 2014.

Contact us

You can call the adult social care team on (01226) 773300 if you'd like to request a carers assessment or want more information.

If you're under 18 years of age you're considered a young carer and will be assessed by Children’s Services. This also applies to an adult who cares for a disabled child. When assessing an adult’s needs for care and support we'll consider the situation of the whole family to make sure that any young carers are identified and offered support from Children’s Services where appropriate.

Review process

If you've had a Care Act carer's assessment an annual review of your carer support needs will be carried out unless you inform adult social care that you do not wish to have a review. Please contact our Customer Access Team on (012260 773300 if you have any queries about this.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is a benefit paid by the Department for Works and Pensions to carers 16 years or over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone with substantial caring needs. You don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for, but they must be in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the middle/higher of the care component of Disability Living Allowance or the ‘daily living’ element of Personal Independence Payment. Carer's Allowance can sometimes affect certain benefits that the person you care for receives, so it is advisable to get proper advice before making a claim by speaking to the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 5870912.

Barnsley Carers Service

Barnsley Carers Service is commissioned by Barnsley Council to deliver a range of support to unpaid carers. This support includes:

  • information and advice
  • one-to-one support
  • group support
  • drop-in support / peer support
  • free complimentary therapies
  • events and activities
  • volunteering opportunities
  • help with obtaining carers grant funding

Contact Barnsley Carers Service

You can contact the service directly to find out how they can support you:

Carer's one-off payment

Barnsley informal carers can access small one-off support payments of up to £300. This is for recognition, and to support them in their role as an informal carer. This is available only once annually following completion of a simple eligibility form. Carers can use this payment in a variety of ways to support them in their caring role. This could include a short break, domestic items including washing machines, domestic help, travel costs/driving lessons, access to courses or materials to develop carer skills and personal development, leisure or relaxation facilities, funding a hobby, short term care or sitting service.

For an informal carer to be eligible to request a carers support payment, the looked after for person must either be in receipt of support from adult social care or likely to have eligible care and support needs in accordance with the Care Act 2014 criteria.

To apply for a one-off carer support payment please contact the Barnsley Carers Service on (01226) 288772.

Support services for carers

Find out more about the local available support for carers.

Carers digital resource

If you're looking after a family member, loved one or a friend you can access the carers digital resources. We have joined up with Carers UK to give unpaid carers in Barnsley access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make your caring situation easier. The online platform offers self-help information and resources including:

  • About Me: building resilience for carers: an e-learning resource that helps carers identify and build networks of support and promotes their self-care.
  • Jointly: a care co-ordination app for people sharing care.
  • The role of good nutrition when caring for someone: an e-learning course that aims to help carers understand the role of nutrition both for themselves as well as the person they are looking after.
  • Upfront guide to caring: a simple assessment tool to guide people new to caring or seeking support for the first time to navigate the Carers UK website.
  • Looking after someone: carer's rights guide: helps carers understand their rights as a carer and where to go for financial or practical help.
  • Learning for living: an e-learning resource designed to help carers recognise the transferable skills they have gained through their caring journey, to boost their confidence at work.
  • Young adult carers: an e-learning resource for young adult carers now in adult services including, for example, advice and information for making choices about caring, and support in and about education and work.
  • Thinking ahead: a questionnaire style tool to help people think about the costs of caring including, for example understanding how it may affect pensions, potential costs of professional care and residential care. 

To create an account and get free access to all the products and support resources, visit Carers UK Digital Resources and use our Barnsley access code DGTL3300.

Local support available

Alzheimer’s Society

Assistive living technology

Barnardo’s young carers and sibling support service

Beacon South Yorkshire Carer Support

Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support (BIADS)

Butterflies dementia support and activities group

Citizens Advice Barnsley

Crossroads Barnsley (Caring for Carers)

Dementia Friendly Barnsley

DIAL Barnsley

Disabled Facilities Grants

Warm Homes team

Live Well Barnsley

This site contains information and contact details about all types of services and activities that can help you look after yourself, the person you care for, and get involved in your community. Visit Live Well Barnsley.

Working carers and employers

It's important that employers recognise unpaid carers in their workforce. Around one in seven employees will also be carers, combining their caring role with paid work.

Carers should be able to work in an environment that supports them. This can be achieved through formal policies and procedures, or informal arrangements with the support and understanding of colleagues and managers.

To support working carers they need to have an understanding employer and flexible working arrangements. There are some simple steps that employers can take to reduce the feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety that carers experience and to ensure that they are able to balance work with their caring responsibilities.

  • Promote details of local services in the area and connect them to support available both in the workplace and externally.
  • Introduce and promote flexible working policies.
  • Introduce paid care leave so that carers are not forced to take annual leave for caring emergencies.
  • Set up or encourage staff to set up a carers' staff network to connect carers to each other.
  • When you are recruiting, be aware that candidates may have gained valuable skills as carers such as managing direct payments, and complex scheduling such as coordinating a range of professionals.

Employers for Carers Digital

Barnsley Council has teamed up with Carers UK and is offering SMEs and health partners with a responsibility or interest in supporting carers in the workforce access to the Employers for Carers online platform. The platform includes useful resources such as:

  • guides for managers and carers
  • e-learning for inductions and line managers
  • advice and information on the law
  • employer tool kits to help organisations develop carer-friendly practices
  • advice and information on good practice, including useful resources

It also includes a short dementia toolkit to help employers support their staff who are juggling work with caring for someone with dementia.

You can sign up to Carers UK's Employers for Carers online platform using code #EFC3300 to access the range of resources to help you support the carers in your workforce.

Other useful support and links


Carers UK

Carers Trust

National Mental Health helpline

Offering a listening ear, emotional support and guidance to adults with new or existing mental health conditions. It also provides information, advice and support to carers.

  • Phone: 0800 1830558 for confidential support 24 hours a day. 

Support during COVID-19

Support for those bereaved during COVID-19

A service for anyone who has lost a loved one and who needs support, advice or guidance.

  • Call 0800 0485224 Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.