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, unpaid carers or sometimes informal carers, would probably say that they're 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 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 about the support available for young carers.
A carer’s assessment is the way of working out whether in your role as an unpaid carer you're eligible for support from adult social care 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 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 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 criteria.
To apply for a one-off carer support payment please contact Barnsley Carers Service on (01226) 288772.
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 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.