Cabinet to discuss plans shaping the way we support and recognise Barnsley’s unpaid carers

Next week, Cabinet members will discuss our plans to support our borough’s unpaid carers through our refreshed Carers Strategy and proposed new look Barnsley Carers Service.

We have worked closely with carers of all ages to develop our new Carers Strategy, listening to their experiences to find out where they feel supported and where they face challenges.

Many carers shared their experiences with us, telling us how they found their caring roles in Barnsley and helping us understand where extra support and guidance is needed.

Based on their feedback, as well as conversations with our partners, our refreshed strategy sets out our vision to support more unpaid carers in our communities. With our Carers Strategy, we will work with our partners to:

  • Recognise and identify carers at the earliest opportunity, making sure they receive the information and advice they need in their caring role.
  • Helping carers understand their rights, access assessments and get the support they need to look after their own health and wellbeing.
  • Support carers to have a life outside their caring role, helping them stay in work and take advantage of training and education opportunities.

We will work towards seven key priority areas to help support all our borough’s carers. These include identifying carers, assessing their needs, giving them the chance to discuss having a break from caring, and supporting our young carers.

You can read our new Carers Strategy on the council website.

To help us deliver on the ambitions of our Carers Strategy, Cabinet will also discuss proposals to recommission the Barnsley Carers Service on Wednesday 7 September.

Based on feedback from our carers and partners, as well as a review of the support currently offered, we are proposing a new-look version of the Carers Service.

This new approach to their support will focus on targeted prevention and early intervention, making sure carers have quality information, advice and guidance to stay healthy and well.

Councillor Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “We believe everyone in Barnsley should have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good physical and mental health. Our unpaid carers play a vital role in our communities, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with them to shape the future of our support.

“Our refreshed Carers Strategy and new look Barnsley Carers Service will help our brilliant carers lead happy, healthy lives, addressing the unique challenges they face. We want to be ambitious in our plans to identify and recognise carers, and we will continue working with them to make sure we deliver the best support possible.”

Councillor Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Our carers are a huge asset to our communities, and we want to make sure we’re giving them the right support at the right time.

“It has been great to hear from young carers across the borough as we develop our plans to improve the way we support our carers. By listening to their experiences and working with them, we can address the unique challenges they face, get them the support they need and identify more hidden carers in our communities.”

You can read our recommendations for the Barnsley Carers Service in our Cabinet papers. If approved, the new model for the service will be available to carers from April 2023.

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