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The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
The Act has a new definition of a carer as
a person who provides or intends to provide care for an adult or disabled child.
This removes the requirement that carers must be providing ‘a substantial amount of care on a regular basis’. Local authorities must offer a carer’s assessment to any carer where it appears to the council that the carer may have needs for support.
The role of carers has been fundamental in supporting vulnerable people throughout the pandemic and the RPB has funded a range of services to support carers directly and indirectly throughout this period.
Young carers often take on grown-up responsibilities. This means that they miss out on the things that other child may take for granted – the chance to learn, play and have fun. Their role became even harder during COVID 19 lockdown.
With support from the Integrated Care Fund, YMCA Cardiff Family support services brought fresh thinking to ensuring young carers remained supported and in contact with each other.
During 2020 – 21
- 443 one to one individual support sessions
- 262 virtual activities delivered
- 132 family support sessions delivered
- 75 new, young carers came forward for support
- 30 group respite sessions
The Integrated Care Fund has been used to launch the Carers Gateway for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Led by The Carers Trust Southeast Wales, the team provide information and support to unpaid carers, helping them to make the most of their life alongside their caring role and maintain their independence.
The team helps carers with things like:
- Understanding what support is available for carers
- Signposting and supporting carers to access local services
- Identifying new services that are needed to help carers
- Raising awareness on the issues carers face
- Providing training and development opportunities for carers
- 526 new carers were identified and supported across the region
- 146 were signposted to non-statutory services for ongoing support
- 81% reported a positive change as a result of this support
- 90% had an increased awareness of the support available to them
- 100% of professionals reported an increased understanding of carers’ need following ‘Supporting Carers’ training.
The impact for carers
A Carers Wellbeing Worker from the Carers Gateway has been supporting Millie, a 22-year-old woman who lives in Cardiff. Millie cares for her partner who has mental health issues including autism, depression, bi-polar and on occasions has both self-harmed and attempted suicide.
Millie initially contacted the Carers Gateway to request an emergency grant from Welsh Government funds for a microwave and an award was made. The purchase of the microwave means that she can now batch-prepare meals which frees her to spend more time tending to her partners needs which are demanding and intense.
Millie’s partner is currently having extreme mood changes, exacerbated by the lockdown. She has had to attend to him with such things as helping him spend excess energy with walks in the park at 3 am, visits to A&E following suicide attempts and deep depressive moods. This has left Millie exhausted physically and emotionally.
The Carers Wellbeing Worker has provided a listening ear and has arranged for 6 counselling sessions through the Welsh Government funding, as well as wellbeing workshops to deal with both stress & anxiety and sleep management techniques.
Millie said “Thanks for your help. I don’t normally ask but this will help me”.
At the recommendation of a friend, Grace discovered the CTSEW website after a “google” search. Grace is a parent carer for her son who has been diagnosed with autism. Grace’s son is averse to being identified as autistic as he feels there is a stigma around this and he has experienced bullying, including having a bicycle stolen. This has led him to refuse a range of support including counselling. Additionally, Grace believes that her partner, who is quite young, has been “hanging around with the wrong crowd”
A Carers Wellbeing Worker from the Carers Gateway signposted Grace to the local PCSO to look into the bicycle theft, provided information about support services for “troubled kids” which might help both the son and the partner, information about housing, should the family wish to move to a lower-crime area and Grace was booked onto an on-line wellbeing course entitled Stress & Anxiety: Coping Techniques which CTSEW are able to provide due to Welsh Government funding. Lastly, Grace was directed to the Family Information Service’s Index Letter.
Grace reported that the wellbeing workshops were “really supportive” and had it not been for the “google” search, she would have remained a “hidden carer”.
Irene is a 90-year-old lady who was referred to CTSEW by Social Services. She is a carer for her 92-year-old husband to whom she has been married for 70 years and who now has dementia. She keeps her husband as busy and stimulated as possible by reading daily newspapers and taking walks up and down their driveway. Irene describes her husband as her “whole world”.
Irene has been having concerns lately over the care for her husband should her own health begin to deteriorate. Such thoughts have become more acute as she is due to have a major operation in hospital.
Irene phoned a Carers Wellbeing Worker on the Carers Gateway and discussed her concerns at length and talked about the fact that there may be a point at which the husband may need to go into local authority care. The Wellbeing Worker also discussed the possibility of applying for a care package to maintain independence for as long as possible.
Irene really appreciated the time and space to share her thoughts and concerns in a confidential setting and said “thank you for listening to me.
For information, support and advice about services offered across Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, please visit our partner’s websites: