Implementing the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004
Assessment of carers - Signposting to other agencies
- Care managers are not always aware of the network of services that can help carers (2).
- Carers are often unaware of how to access help (17).
- Produce an A–Z of carers' services so that assessors have good sources of up-to-date information to enable them to support carers to access opportunities in training, education, leisure and employment.
- Publicise information about services for carers on the local authority website.
- Ensure that assessors are aware of local and national sources of funding for carers' services.
- Ensure that other public bodies are also equipped with signposting information.
- Approach community leaders to facilitate signposting in black and minority ethnic communities.
The practice guidance to the 'Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000' (p7 point 15) (2) outlines the necessary steps that local authorities need to take to ensure that carers are well informed about services, resources and other sources of support in their area. In the light of the 2004 Act, information will now need to include services and sources of support that enable carers to access education, training, leisure and employment.
The White Paper Our health, our care, our say gives an undertaking to establish: 'A dedicated helpline for carers [that] would offer information in the widest sense - from legal entitlements, to contact numbers for “help” groups and training, to advice on benefits.'
Practice examples are self-reported and have not been evaluated.
- Sunderland City Council has an online guide Opportunities for carers (PDF) that gives comprehensive information on local resources for leisure, learning, volunteering and work.
- Hertfordshire County Council have produced fact sheets for social workers that list local and national agencies offering services, information and support to carers.
- do-it.org.uk: information about volunteering as a stepping stone to work
- nextstep: advice on learning and work
- Universal Jobmatch: integrated work and benefit services
- Action for Carers and Employment (ACE): a national pressure group campaigning for better and more flexible services that enable carers to work; led by Carers UK
- learndirect: online courses
- Learning for Living: City & Guilds courses for carers
- Learning Skills Council
- Contact a Family: support for parents of disabled children
- Hertfordshire County Council - Carers: online information for carers
- Crossroads Association: local schemes to support carers in many ways, including the development of training and employment opportunities for carers
- Princess Royal Trust for Carers: a network of local centres providing employment support
- Department for Work and Pensions: