The Carers offer is open to all adult Carers of adults who live in Devon (see Am I a Carer? for the definition of a Carer)
The offer is designed to prevent, reduce and/or delay needs from developing as a result of caring.
Apart from replacement care (see below), it is mainly administered through Devon Carers.
All caring situations and journeys are different and all Carers have different strengths that they bring to the caring role. Our approach is based on supporting and building on your strengths, developing your resilience and promoting your independence, health and wellbeing as a Carer.
There are three levels of response within the offer but they are not exclusive and in some circumstances you can receive support from all levels.
Level 1: Universal offer for all Carers
You may not feel you need support and the aim is to prevent needs from developing. However, where you have a need for support, the services have been designed to help you stay as independent as possible and also prevent your situation from deteriorating.
We strongly advise getting in touch with Devon Carers as soon as you realise you are a Carer. Our experience is that things are likely to work out better in the longer term for Carers who get in touch early.
These services are available to every Carer:
- The Devon Carers website
Including a live webchat service where you can access instant support and advice.
- The Devon Carers Passport, which is available to every Carer on registration with Devon Carers and includes a Carers ID card. The ID card can also provide access to support at major hospitals (check the hospital website for details) including free parking, discounted meals and out-of-hours visiting. There is a range of developing benefits associated with the Carers Passport.
- The Devon Carers magazine
Packed full of the latest news, advice, training courses carers stories, top tips for Carers and much more.
- Alert card
Following the development of a contingency plan (advice from Devon Carers) the alert card identifies you as a Carer. So that if you find yourself in an emergency situation where you are unable to inform people yourself, you can be assured that steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the person you care for.
- Peer support
Giving you the chance to meet and make friends with other Carers, providing each other with mutual support and understanding.
- Face-to-face training
Devon Carers provide face-to-face training opportunities to help you with your caring role.
- Online training
Information about free online training courses that you can complete in your own time.
- Support groups
Find support groups across Devon.
- Advice about managing your finances
Benefits and allowances you may be able to claim and help to deal with debt.
- Carers’ hospital discharge service
Helping you with an admission into hospital.
Free digital resources for Devon carers are also available from Carers UK. Links to the resources can be found on our carers homepage. Create an account and log in using the free access code: DGTL8827.
If you need more information about any of the above services please call the Devon Carers Helpline on 03456 434 435 (available Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm).
Level 2: Targeted services
Targeted services are provided to individual Carers where specific needs have been identified; therefore not all targeted services are available to all Carers at all times. They are designed to prevent, delay and reduce the development of eligible needs (see below for definition).
These services will be accessible once you’ve had a conversation (not an assessment) with either Devon Carers or Devon County Council (please be aware that details of the conversation will be recorded).
Targeted services include:
- Face-to-face training
- Escalation planning support
- 1-to-1 support
- Casework and crisis support
There is help available if you are experiencing a crisis and require a short, intensive period of work with a professional (either from Devon Carers or Devon County Council) to resolve the crisis and support your return to independence, wellbeing and/or promote your resilience.
- Service navigation
Helping you to navigate specialist services, for example, dementia services. This could include training on providing effective support, where the person you care for has specialist needs.
Level 3: Personal offer
The personal level of services is available to you if it is determined that you have eligible needs, once you have had a Carer’s assessment. This will most often be in the form of a Carer Health and Wellbeing Check undertaken by either Devon Carers or Devon County Council.
Support will first focus on your personal strengths and resources and how they can help you to meet and reduce your needs as well as prevent and delay other needs from arising.
If other services are required the main objective will always be to ensure they are designed to meet your needs rather than trying to make your needs fit those services.
Some of your needs may be met by more intensive support from a professional or by a service for the person/s you care for.
Personal services include all those detailed above as well as:
If you have eligible needs that Devon County Council is required to meet, an amount of money known as a carer’s personal budget may be agreed.
The amount of your personal budget and how it will be used is unique to each carer and will be discussed as part of the support planning process. The most common form of Carer’s personal budget is one-off and there are a wide range of purposes for which Carers use these.
Your support plan will outline the amount of your agreed personal budget and how it will be used, along with your needs and desired outcomes. You cannot use your personal budget towards services that the person you care for receives or uses, for example, replacement care or personal care services.
You will not need to have a financial assessment to determine whether or not you have to contribute towards the cost of your support. Devon County Council does not have a policy to charge Carers for their support.
If you are eligible you can get support for the person you care for in the form of replacement care (also commonly known as respite care). This is any care arrangement designed to enable you to have a break from your caring responsibilities.
Replacement care can be in a care home, or in the community or own home, for example, a sitting service or day service.
Replacement care is based on the eligibility so a Carers assessment (often known as a Carer Health and Wellbeing Check) is required. The person you care for may also need an assessment – but they will not need to meet any particular eligibility criteria.
The person you care for will have a financial assessment to determine if they need to contribute towards the cost of the replacement care. This is because the services are provided to the person you care for even though the provision is based on your needs and eligibility. More information about breaks for Carers.
The Carers offer is under continuous development as guidance and understanding of prevention and effective interventions for Carers develop. The Carers offer is evidence-based drawing on both national and local studies.
Personal data we record as part of a conversation or assessment will be held for only as long as is necessary and in line with our organisation’s record retention schedules.