Wellbeing

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Good Practice

The Carers Star

The Carers Star is a holistic and collaborative tool, designed for use in services that support carers one-to-one over a period of time.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarers in employment
I work in: 
Carers services
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 15:00
Body: 

The Carers Star helps services to assess carers’ quality of life and identify the support they need to continue caring. It also supports services to capture and evidence outcomes for carers and to engage carers in the process of change. Part of the family of Outcomes Star tools, it’s a tried and tested framework to assist services and commissioners in supporting carers more effectively.

How it works

The Carers Star is a holistic and collaborative tool, designed for use in services that support carers one-to-one over a period of time. It covers seven areas where carers often need support, including confidence in their caring role, balancing caring with work or time to relax, and finances.

Underpinning these scales is a ‘Journey of Change’ – five stages carers go through as they improve their lives, moving from ‘cause for concern’ up to ‘as good as it can be’. This gives a measure of progress, or distance travelled, and a set of manageable steps carers can take to become more independent.

Workers in services that support carers (both third sector and public sector) use the Carers Star at assessment and subsequent reviews to find out where a carer is on their journey and to plan appropriate actions to help them move up each scale.

All workers using the Carers Star need appropriate training and support to realise the benefits described below for commissioners, services and carers.

Supporting commissioners

The Carers Star helps local authority commissioners fulfil the requirements of the Care Act by providing a framework for effective assessment, action planning and review, combined with the ability to measure the impact of interventions in a way that is clear to everyone. It also supports services in undertaking preventative work with carers.

Carers Star data is easily collated using the Star Online web application or other IT systems, so services can report on outcomes for carers, examining both the big picture and the detail. Reports cover the key outcomes of interest to commissioners, using a consistent format and facilitating learning across different services.

Because the Carers Star is an integral part of assessment, support, planning and review, it doesn’t divert valuable resources from direct work with carers, making it popular with both workers and the people they support. It can also help improve the quality and consistency of support provided. 

“Not only is this a useful tool for assessment and identification of needs, its use over time can demonstrate to commissioners that they are getting the right outcomes from the services they fund.” 
Department of Health Green Paper, 2009

Supporting services

Workers and carers like the Star because it is simple to use, highly visual, holistic and focused on the reality of carers’ lives. Because it is collaborative, carers are engaged in their own process, rather than assessment being something ‘done to them’.

The completed Star gives a clear picture of carers’ needs and where they are on their journey, and helps to break change down into manageable steps so that support is more effective and better targeted.

For service managers, the collated Carers Star data provides information on carer outcomes to pinpoint good practice, gaps in provision or areas for improvement. Aggregated data can be used to compare services, and is also helpful in worker supervision.

Supporting carers

Carers complete the Carers Star in collaboration with a worker and plot their scores on a visual of the Carers Star, allowing them to see clearly where they are on their journey. The worker can then help the carer plan which areas to address and how.

At later meetings, worker and carer re-visit the Carers Star and get a clear picture of the progress that has been made and identify any further support needs.

Tried, tested and recommended

The Carers Star was developed by Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise in collaboration with Carers Trust and other carer organisations. Carers Trust secured funding from the Triangle Trust 1949 to develop a subsidised programme to roll out the adoption of the Carers Star across the The Carers Trust Network.

Outcomes Stars are widely used in the UK by voluntary organisations large and small, housing associations, NHS Foundation Trusts and local authorities, and have been backed by the Department of Health, the Big Lottery, NESTA, the National Social Inclusion Programme, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the London Housing Foundation, Homeless Link and the Mental Health Providers Forum, among others.

International interest in the Outcomes Star is also growing and it is used in several countries around the world. 

Further information

The Outcomes Star™ is a family of tools for supporting and measuring change when working with people. For more information, see www.outcomesstar.org.uk or email info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or call 020 7272 8765.

Carers Trust is a key collaborator on the Carers Star. For more information contact Carers Trust.

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Good Practice

Empowering Professionals to support Young Carers (EPYC)

Thanks to funding provided by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme, a group of organisations from Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Austria are working to find new ways to support young carers.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Carers servicesEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Young adult carersYoung carersFamilies
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Scotland
Date Revised: 
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 13:30
Body: 

About the Empowering Professionals to support Young Carers (EPYC) project

Thanks to funding provided by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme, a group of organisations from Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Austria are working to find new ways to support young carers.

Each country involved in the EPYC project will develop a new tool, which we hope will help youth professionals - like teachers, social worker or youth workers - to better support young carers.

The tools aim to aid in the identification of young carers, to allow practitioners to assess the situation of young and young adult carers, including measuring the level and impact of the care burden, and to allow practitioners to develop an action plan to address issues adversely affecting young and young adult carers.

We will then trial the tool to see how it can help make Scotland a better place for young and young adult carers to grow up in.

Why is this project happening?

Young and young adult carers carry out, often on a regular basis, significant caring tasks and assume a level of responsibility which would not usually be associated with their age group.

Although research has provided clear evidence that heavy caring responsibilities can result in emotional difficulties, health problems, social exclusion and limited opportunities for social and leisure activities, professional support services are lacking in many EU countries.

Who is involved in the project?

The two year EU funded project started in August 2016  involving a strategic partnership of six European organisations, namely Carers Trust Scotland (UK), Diakonisches Werk Berlin Stadtmitte e.V. (Germany), Care Alliance Ireland (Ireland), Anziani e non solo (Italy), ARC ORK (Austria) and IPS Versari Macrelli (Italy).

The kick off meeting, hosted by the leading partner, Diakonisches Werk Berlin Stadtmitte e.V., was held in Berlin on 12 September 2016.

What can you do now?

Expected EPYC project outcomes

In the course of the project, intermediate expected results include:

  • An increased capacity of organisations to identify young and young adult carers.
  • An increased knowledge of promising or successful experiences and practices from other European countries.
  • An increased awareness of the challenges faced by young and young adult carers in the different local contexts involved directly or indirectly in project activities.

The outcome of the project is the improved expertise in this field and professional stakeholders having the knowledge to develop support services for young and young adult carers and work with relevant sectors to improve support.

If you are interested to know more about the EPYC project  contact:

  • Louise Morgan, Carers Trust Scotland, Young Carers Development Manager Working with the SYCSA. 
  • Paul Traynor, Carers Trust Scotland, Policy and Campaigns Officer (Young and Young Adult Carers). 
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Toolkit

Carers Hub: A commissioners tool for mapping local services in consultation with carers

The Carers’ Hub can be used in consultation with carers and local services as a tool to map local carer need and service provision.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illnessAlcohol MisuseSubstance MisuseSpecial education needsPrimary CareSecondary Care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersYoung adult carersYoung carersParent carersSibling carersFamilies
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 10:45
Body: 

The Carers’ Hub is a model of comprehensive carers support, developed by Carers Trust with assistance from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and funding from the Department of Health. It can be used as a resource for all those looking to commission and develop personalised services for carers.

At the centre of the Hub diagram are the outcomes of the refreshed National Carers Strategy for England. The white band represents a three-pronged approach that can be used to inform strategic planning, and the 17 spokes on the outside of the circle illustrate the complete range of interventions that every area needs in order to deliver the intended outcomes.

Using the Carers' Hub

The Carers’ Hub can be used in consultation with carers and local services as a tool to map local carer need and service provision. In order to assess what mixture of interventions might be necessary to achieve the outcomes of the National Carers’ Strategy in a local area, the first step would be to carry out consultation to establish:
  • What services are currently available.
  • Which of the National Carers’ Strategy outcomes are being met.
  • Which groups are being served.
  • What local carers and their families want.
A simple way to do this is by printing large copies of the Hub and asking carers to write comments or attach post-it notes under the interventions that are well provided locally. Then use another copy of the Hub (or different colour post-it notes) to repeat the process asking carers to indicate where there are gaps in services. 
 
You may wish to ask carers to make notes on the post-its about the quality of services and who is providing them. As a separate exercise, you may wish to ask carers to repeat the process indicating how well each of the five outcomes at the centre of the Hub are being met. Involving professionals and local service providers in the process will help to give you a complete picture of services in your area.

Local strategic planning

The Hub's three-pronged approach to local strategic planning - in the white middle band of the Hub: carer-led, identify and include and whole-area - can then be applied in order to inform the development and implementation of the most appropriate mix of interventions. 
 
Ideally, carer representatives and professionals should sit down together to analyse the messages and identify priorities, so it may be best to carry out this process at meetings (for example, of carer strategy groups or multi-disciplinary agency groups).
 
The results of the Carers’ Hub consultation process can help to inform Joint Strategic Needs Assessments, Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies and other audit and planning processes, and maximise resources through the development of more efficient services and partnerships. The process can be repeated at a later date in order to help monitor local progress on strategy implementation.
 
Although the terminology on the Hub comes from English legislation, the rationale and process are applicable across the whole of the UK.

Further information

Download the PDF iconCarers Hub Toolkit for Commissioners (PDF, 1,241 KB).

There is also a Powerpoint version of the Hub with editable text boxes to make notes and/or compile your results.

Further details of the origins of the Hub and how to assess local services in relation to the Carers' Strategy can be found in Commissioning for Carers: an Action Guide for Decision-Makers and Commissioning Better Outcomes for Carers.

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Research

A survey of the experiences and needs of male carers

Husband, Partner, Dad, Son, Carer? is the report of a survey of the experiences and needs of male carers, carried out by Carers Trust and the Men’s Health Forum at the start of 2014.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illnessSecondary CareAcute Care
Outcomes: 
WellbeingCarer awarenessCarers in employment
I work in: 
Carers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersParent carersFamilies
Caring for: 
Young peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 10:15
Body: 

Caring is often seen as a ‘female’ issue but it is something that affects a large number of men too. The 2011 Census found that in England and Wales more than four in ten carers are male (42.3%) - amounting to 2.44 million men providing care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

Despite their vast number, there has been little research to understand the experiences of these men or the vital role that they play in their families.

Carers Trust and the Men’s Health Forum sought to learn more about men’s experiences of caring, the impact it has on their lives and the support services they feel would be helpful to them. A total of 609 male carers from across the UK took part in a survey which included 119 fathers, all of whom were caring for a child or children with a disability, long term conditions or mental health or addiction issue. PDF iconDads care too: A survey of the experiences of fathers who are carers showcases the experiences of these dads.

Key findings

  • 119 dads responded, of all ages.
  • The highest proportion (72%) care for a son or daughter with a learning disability or autism.
  •  Nearly 20% had been caring for 21 years or more.
  • 35% cared alongside being in employment. 40% of those spent 60 or more hours caring per week.
  • A third of dads reported that they never get a break.
  • 46% said caring had a negative impact on their mental health, and 43% said it had a negative impact on their physical health.
  • Almost three quarters said they missed out on spending time with friends and family members as a result of being a carer.
  • The most common support wanted but not received was breaks from their caring role.
  • 55% said they felt the needs of male carers were different from female carers.
  • Many felt their role as a carer was not recognised, or that services were not designed in a way which met their needs.

Further information

Download Dads Care too.

Read the reportPDF iconHusband, Partner, Dad, Son, Carer: A Survey of the Experiences and Needs of Male Carers

Exexutive Summary (PDF iconEnglish language version(PDF, 1,728KB).

Executive Summary (PDF iconWelsh_language version(PDF, 728KB).

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Toolkit

Young Carers Pharmacy project

Pharmacies are visited by about 1.6 million people every day in England so they are ideally positioned to identify carers of all all ages including young carers. They can therefore play a key role in the early initiation of assessment and support which can be life changing.
Area of Care: 
Primary Care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary carePharmacy ServicesCarers servicesSocial care
I work with: 
Adult carersYoung adult carersParent carersSibling carersFamilies
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 15:30
Body: 

The Engaging with Pharmacies toolkit is aimed at young carer services to support them to work collaboratively with pharmacies. It draws on the Young Carers Pharmacy Project that took place between 2014 and 2016. This was delivered by Carers Trust Network Partner Salford Carers Centre as one of Carers Trust’s Innovation Generation projects.

Further information

Download the following resources:

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Guidance

Supporting Young Carers Aged Five to Eight

This resource aims to bring clarity for services working with young carers, as to whether or not it is necessary for them to register with Ofsted if they choose to work with children under eight years old..
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Carers services
I work with: 
Young carers
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 14:45
Body: 

Part two presents some local practice being undertaken by Carers Trust Network Partner, Carers Lewisham, with young carers aged 5–8. Although Part 1 of this resource is specific to England, many of the ideas and practice in Part 2 are applicable across the UK.

Further information

Download  the Carers Trust resource – PDF iconSupporting Young Carers Aged 5 to 8 a Resource for Professionals Working with Younger Carers

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Educational

Protecting Young Carers from Bullying

Protecting Young Carers from Bullying: A Guide for Schools, Community Groups and Policy Makers
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young adult carersYoung carersSibling carers
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 14:30
Body: 

This guide is aimed at all professionals who work with young people and are therefore likely to come across young carers. It aims to raise the awareness and understanding of the relationship between being a young carer and bullying, in order that proactive steps can be taken to help prevent young carers from being bullied.

Further information

Download the Carers Trust resource – PDF iconProtecting Young Carers from Bullying a Guide for Schools Community Groups and Policy Makers

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Research

A Road Less Rocky Supporting Carers of People with Dementia

A Road Less Rocky is a report from Carers Trust that found that carers of people with dementia are not getting the support and advice they often desperately need.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthDay centreRehab CentreHospitalCare homesPrimary CareSecondary CareAcute CareDementia care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingPharmacy ServicesCarers servicesInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersSocial careCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersYoung adult carers
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adults
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 14:00
Body: 

The report found that there were a number of critical points along a carer’s journey where they would most value information and support. These critical points include:

  1. When dementia is diagnosed.
  2. When the carer takes on an 'active' caring role.
  3. When the capacity of the person with dementia declines.
  4. When the carer needs emotional support and/or a break from caring.
  5. When the person with dementia loses their mobility.
  6. When the person with dementia has other health problems.
  7. When the carer has to cope with behavioural problems.
  8. When the carer's own circumstances change.
  9. When the person with dementia becomes incontinent.
  10. When decisions about residential care and end of life care have to be made

We have designed a toolkit around these ten points,the issues carers face at these points and what will make a positive difference. It has been produced to sit alongside A Road Less Rocky and gives guidance to professionals who come in contact with carers. The toolkit is useful for anyone who works with or treats patients with dementia and is therefore likely to come into contact with carers. 

A Road Less Rocky – Supporting Carers of People with Dementia complements the Triangle of Care Carers included: A Guide to best Practice for Dementia Care. This document describes how meaningful involvement and inclusion of carers can lead to better care for people with dementia, identifying six key standards required to achieve better collaboration and partnership with carers.

Although the terminology and legislation referred to in this toolkit applies to England the standards and rationale are applicable across the whole of the UK.

Further information

Find further information and download the full report A Road Less Rocky – Supporting Carers of People with Dementia (PDF, 962KB).

Download the toolkit PDF iconA Road Less Rocky: Making the Road Less Rocky for Carers, A Guide on how to Support Carers of People with dementia

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Research

Retirement on Hold

Our Retirement on Hold report highlights some of the challenges faced by older carers and makes recommendations to improve their experience now and in the future. Thank you to all the carers and Network Partners who contributed.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illnessAlcohol MisuseSubstance MisuseSpecial education needsSpecialist services
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health careCarers servicesSocial careCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersParent carersSibling carersFamilies
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 13:45
Body: 

Key findings from our report

  • Care coordination – carers said they were spending too much time, and became stressed and anxious when trying to organise care and support for the person with care needs. 
  • Carers are caring for someone else when they have their own age-related health condition.
  • The pressures around carers feeling they had a 'duty to care' – the Care Act recognises that caring should be a choice.
  • Lack of appropriate replacement care to enable carers to take a break. 

Our key recommendations

  • Access to a 'care coordinator' – many older carers felt this would help them navigate the health and care system. It is recognised that with limited resources this may not be feasible, however, earlier referral to a carer organisation may help improve the situation for carers. 
  • Appropriate and timely access to information and advice about support available locally, nationally and UK wide. This information would need to recognise that not all older carers are able to access the internet.
  • Improved access to appropriate and good quality replacement care.

Further information

You will find our more information and our Retirement on Hold report on Carers.org.

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Good Practice

Older Carers Toolkit

This toolkit is targeted at commissioners of health and social care in England and aims to highlight the needs of carers aged over 60 and to show tried and tested ways they can be supported.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illnessAlcohol MisuseSubstance MisuseSpecial education needsSpecialist servicesPrimary CareSecondary CareAcute CareDementia care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health careCarers servicesSocial careCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersParent carersSibling carersFamilies
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 13:15
Body: 

This toolkit is targeted at commissioners of health and social care in England and aims to highlight the needs of carers aged over 60 and to show tried and tested ways they can be supported.

It shines a spotlight on particular issues most likely to impact on older carers. This can help inform commissioning to properly and most cost-effectively support them. It will also help commissioners fulfil duties to prevent, reduce and delay needs and to support older carers under the Care Act 2014.

Further information

Download the toolkit PDF iconCaring About Older Carers (PDF 307KB)

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