Adult social care

Support for carers


In Barnsley, it's estimated that over 28,000 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 would say they're just being a husband, wife, mum, dad, son, daughter, friend or a good neighbour. We also call these people unpaid carers, or informal carers.

For some people, taking on a caring role can be sudden. This could be as someone in your family may have had an accident or a child is born with a disability. For others, caring duties can grow gradually over time. For example, your parents can't manage on their own any longer, or your partner's or child's mental or physical health gradually worsens.

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

Carers help people with personal things such as:

  • getting dressed
  • turning them in their sleep
  • helping them to the loo
  • helping them to move about
  • giving them their medication

Carers also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking or managing money.

Unpaid carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they experience. They should be respected for all they do and given advice and support.

Young carers

Young carers are children and young people under the age of 18 that look after someone in their family who:

  • has an illness or a disability
  • is affected by mental ill-health
  • is affected by substance misuse

Young carers take on tasks that would normally be done by an adult.

Some young carers take on 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'. However, they'd welcome some extra support to manage the task of being a carer. To recognise this, it’s important that we provide support to our young carers. This helps them balance their caring with their rights to be children or young people.

Find out more about the support available for young carers.

Carer's assessment

A carer’s assessment is the way of working out if you're eligible for support from adult social care. Looking at your role as an unpaid carer, this would be in accordance with the Care Act. Find out more about having a carer's assessment.

Carer's one-off payment

Barnsley informal carers can access small one-off support payments of up to £300. This is to recognise their work and to support them in their role as an informal carer. This is available only once annually after the completion of a simple 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 such as a washing machine, domestic help, travel costs or driving lessons, or access to courses or materials to develop carer skills. It can also be used for leisure to fund a hobby, or for short term care or sitting service.

For an informal carer to be eligible to request a support payment, the looked after person must either:

  • be in receipt of support from adult social care
  • have eligible care and support needs in accordance with the Care Act criteria.

Carers can access a payment by filling in a single carers assessment with a social work practitioner.

Carer support groups and organisations

There's lots of local and national support available to support you in your role as a carer. Find out about carer support groups and organisations.

Our carers' strategy

To make sure unpaid carers are supported we worked with them and other key partners to produce our Carers' Strategy. The strategy recognises the need to support carers and to enable carers to maintain a balance between their caring duties and a life outside their caring role. This helps them to preserve their own personal health and wellbeing.

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