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Your rights as a carer and how to get help
What are my rights?
Carers’ rights to an assessment
The Care Act 2014 (pdf format, 250KB) places the 'cared for' and carers on an equal footing. It ensures that carers have the same entitlement to support to enable them to continue in their caring role while maintaining their wellbeing.
A carers' assessment offers carers the opportunity to think about how their caring role impacts on their own wellbeing, and what they wish to achieve in terms of their personal outcomes.
What is a carers' assessment?
A carers' assessment will establish:
• the carer’s needs for support, the outcomes that the carer wants to achieve in day-to-day life, and
• how these impact on their wellbeing as well as the sustainability of their caring role.
• It will consider the carer’s present and future needs for support and their ability and willingness to provide care now and in the future.
Carers and employment rights
The Employment Act 2002 gives working parents of disabled children under 18 the right to request flexible working arrangements. Since April 2007, you also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you are caring for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as you.
Carers also have the right to take (unpaid) time off work for dependants in cases of emergency.
Returning to work after being a carer may have an impact on any entitlements and benefits you receive as a carer. The amount of hours you do, how much you earn and your savings will be taken into consideration.
For more information about any of the above you can contact Carers Oxfordshire.
How do I get help with caring?
The first steps are outlined above; firstly to recognise yourself as a carer, and to be aware that as a carer you have certain rights.
You may be thinking about a number of issues on which you want information and advice.
Carers Oxfordshire is available to give information, advice and support to carers, and to signpost carers to other local and national organisations and services which can also help. More information is available here.
Remember…it is important to let your GP know you are a carer, so that your health needs as a carer can be taken into account.
Sometimes situations are stressful and complicated. Some people are particularly vulnerable to being hurt or abused because they have a disability, illness or impairment and need help and support. Sometimes their carers are vulnerable to abuse or neglect as well due to their youth, health or the relationship with the cared for person or pressures in the overall situation. This can result in isolation and problems being kept hidden from view. For more information:
- For adults see: www.safefromharm.org.uk or contact Oxfordshire County Council on 0845 050 7666
- For children see: www.oscb.org.uk or contact Oxfordshire County Council on 0845 050 7666
Making a complaint
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the support services offered to you or the person you care for, the best first step is often to talk it over with whoever is responsible for the service.
There are a number of ways to get involved:
The Oxfordshire Carers Voice Forum
Carers Voice Oxfordshire is a group of volunteers, carers and ex-carers, who promote carers' interests, support their needs and ensure their views, are heard by voluntary, professional and statutory organisations. This Forum is Oxfordshire's only countywide independent voice of carers.