Frequently Asked Questions for Carers

This page answers some frequently asked questions carers may have about the support available to them

What do we mean by 'carer'?

A carer is someone who provides another person, usually a relative or friend, care and support in their day-to-day life.

This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally in a paid capacity, or through a voluntary organisation.

What counts as giving care and support?

‘Care and support’ is the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have.

It can include help with things like getting out of bed, getting dressed and into work, cooking meals, seeing friends, caring for our families and being part of the community. 

It can also mean support from community groups and networks - for example, attending support groups or social activities.

What support is available for carers?

Support for carers can be practical support, so you can take a break from your caring responsibilities, or it could be a direct payment, where you are given the money to spend on things that will help you look after your own wellbeing alongside caring. 

For many carers, one of the most valuable results of talking to the Council is being put in touch with support  services and groups where they can meet other people in a similar situation.

What about parents caring for disabled children, or young carers who are under 18?

If you are a young carer yourself, or if you are a parent caring for a disabled child, you have similar rights to assessment and support but they are covered by the Children and Families Act, not the Care Act.

If you or the person you are caring for is about to reach the age of 18 years, you will be able to get a ‘transition assessment’ which will let you know whether you or they are likely to be eligible for support as an adult caring for another adult.

To find out more about support for parent carers and young carers, see the NHS' Social Care and Support guide.

How can I get support services from the Council?

Anyone who lives in Rutland, with any level of need, who provides unpaid care and support to another adult can ask for a carer’s assessment.

If the assessment shows that you have eligible needs, the Council can offer you support to carry on caring and also look after your own wellbeing.

What does a carers assessment involve?

A carers assessment is an opportunity for you to tell the Council how caring for someone is affecting your life, and what could be done to make things better for you and the person you look after.

Your assessment will cover the specific things you do to look after the person you care for, your feelings about caring, and your physical and emotional health, as well as how caring affects your work, leisure, education, wider family and relationships.

Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of the assessment.

The assessor will look at whether there are any risks to your wellbeing and agree with you how they can be managed. 

They will also look at ways you can prevent and delay the need for support.

What is meant by eligible needs?

We have national eligibility criteria, and you must meet certain requirements to receive support from Rutland County Council.

The person I am caring for will not agree to a needs assessment themselves. Could I still be offered support as a carer?

You don’t need the permission of the person you are caring for to request a carers assessment. You are entitled to ask for one in your own right.

Can I have a carers assessment if the person I care for does not currently get help from the Council?

Yes - but you will need to do this through the council of the person that you support, if it is not the same as your own.

You can also ask for an assessment for the person you care for, if you want to.

I share providing care with other family members / friends. Can we all have a carers assessment?

Everyone who gives unpaid care to an adult over the age of 18, and has some need for      support, can request an individual carer’s assessment.

They do not have to be done together.

Will I be asked about my finances?

You won’t need to do a financial means test as part of the carer’s assessment, but you might be asked about what impact the cost of caring is having on your finances.

The Carer’s Allowance that some people receive for caring on a full-time basis is different, and does require a means test.

What happens after the assessment?

The Council will write to you about the outcome of your assessment and tell you whether your support needs are eligible or not.

If you have eligible needs, the next step will be to develop your support plan with a social care professional. Your plan will details the things you want to achieve, and how you will achieve them.

Whatever the decision, you will be offered advice and information about services and organisations that could support you, and prevent or delay your need for further support in the future.

What is a support plan?

A support plan is an agreement between you and Rutland County Council that shows how your support needs will be met. 

In this plan it will make it clear whether there are eligible needs that the council will pay for, or needs that can be met in other ways. It will also include a personal budget to help you understand how much it will cost to meet your needs, and how this money will be spent.

It will ultimately set out how you can continue to do the things that are important to you and your family, with the right level of support.

You (and anyone else you request) will be involved in preparing your plan and agreeing with its content. 

The Council will review your plan with you at regular intervals, to make sure that your needs continue to be met over time. If anything changes, we will carry out a new assessment. 

You can ask for a review of your support plan at any time.

Personal budgets and direct payments

If you have eligible needs, you should receive a personal budget. 

A personal budget is a statement showing the cost of meeting your needs, as part of your support plan. It will include the amount you will pay, if any, and the amount the Council is going to pay.

You can request that the Council meets some or all of such needs by giving you a direct payment, which will give you control over how your support is provided.  

What happens if my needs change or if I need more support?

If either of these things happen, the council of the person that you support will be able to discuss your situation with you and agree the next steps to take.

Find your local council

What can I do if I am unhappy about any decisions made about my care and support?

If you feel able to, talk through your concerns with the people directly involved and see if you can resolve the issue together. 

If you are unhappy with a decision that has been made about your care and support, you may be able to appeal against the decision. Contact the Council on 01572 722 577 or email enquiries@rutland.gov.uk to find out if you are able to appeal.

If you are still unhappy, you can make a complaint to Rutland County Council. 

Making a complaint will not adversely affect the care and support services you receive  or how you are treated by us.

How can I give the Council feedback about the services they provide?

Rutland County Council is always keen to receive your comments on services generally, not just in relation to complaints.

We would welcome any views you have about any of our services. 

For example, if you feel a service is working particularly well we would like to know about this.

Tel: 01572 722 577 or email letusknow@rutland.gov.uk.

Safeguarding: Important Information

The national eligibility criteria don’t apply to safeguarding situations where there is concern about potential abuse or neglect. Rutland County Council will always respond in situations where there is concern.

If Rutland County Council reason to suspect that you or any other adult in Rutland is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect then the Council will make enquiries.

This applies even where the person doesn’t normally live in Rutland but is in the county at the time.

If you are worried about yourself or another person, please contact the Adult Duty Team on 01572 722577 or email dutyteam@rutland.gov.uk

For more information about safeguarding generally, visit the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Board website.