Scrutiny supports plans to help carers
Shropshire Council’s Safe and Confident Communities Scrutiny Committee had the opportunity this week to listen to the views and experiences from carers on the support they have received in their caring role.
Carers were invited to come along to the meeting on Wednesday 4 July as part of a report discussed by the Safe and Confident Communities Scrutiny Committee.
The report outlined the schemes and initiatives that Shropshire Council is developing to support carers and the progress made during the past year on the implementation of the Carers Strategy for Shropshire 2011-14. This includes significantly re-developing the Carers Support Service Contract to reshape how carers support is delivered in Shropshire and to focus on providing information, direct support and linking carers to wider local networks of support.
More family carers are receiving the support they need year-on-year as Shropshire Council continues to develop its services for people who provide this invaluable role.
Representatives from the Community Council of Shropshire and Mayfair, who deliver carers support services in Shropshire on behalf of the authority, also attended the meeting to talk about their service. They used the opportunity to ask questions relating to the carers report and provided the committee with examples of the work that they do.
Family carer Maureen Bradley, who is a member of the Carers Leadership Group, and a peer supporter for People2People and supports other carers, spoke to the committee about how the help both herself and her son have received has made such positive difference to their quality of life. Maureen also spoke about the value and real benefits of being in a carers group and of having someone to talk to and share experiences and ideas with.
A member of the public who supports his elderly mother also spoke to the committee about the challenges carers face and the positive experience he had recently had in providing advice for his mother.
Councillor Joyce Barrow, chair of the scrutiny committee said:
”I would like to thank Maureen and David for giving up their valuable time and coming to speak to us to tell us about their experiences. We recognise the vital role that carers in Shropshire have, in supporting vulnerable people to remain as independent as possible, in their own homes and local communities .”
“We want to ensure that carers are aware of the support available and that their needs are met.”
Councillor Barrow continued,
“While the number of carers receiving assessments is increasing there are many more carers in Shropshire that have not yet been assessed who we want to help. We hope that through our new initiatives to identify and help carers we will continue to reach and support more carers.”
“The Carers Survey later this year will also provide further information from which to develop further support services and initiatives.”
Councillor Barrow encouraged all committee members to offer their support and join carers at the Carers Right Day on 30 November 2012.
Diane Cuff from the Community Council of Shropshire and proprietor of Respite Solutions spoke about the respite organisation which offers personalised searches and booking support to help family carers find a holiday or short break.
Members of the committee were also invited to come along to an art event at the Market Hall in Shrewsbury between the 10 and 14 of July in the Shropshire Visual Arts Network gallery on the 1st floor.
The exhibition called ‘Creative Carers’ is being organised by the Community Council of Shropshire Carers Support Service and will showcase a selection of paintings, tapestry’s and poetry created by some of the Carers who use the service; highlighting their talents and ways of unwinding and relaxing from their caring role.
The Safe and Confident Communities Scrutiny Committee unanimously agreed with the report’s recommendations and also requested an additional recommendation ensuring that continued support for young carers is provided as they move into adult services.
Anybody who provides, or intends to provide, substantial care on a regular basis to a family member, friend or neighbour on an unpaid basis is a family carer. There are a number of ways Shropshire Council can offer support to family carers including:
- financial support (carers direct payment)
- access to training
- respite care
- leisure opportunities
- support to return to, or remaining in work
For more information about the support available to carers and how to get an assessment, please go to shropshire.gov.uk/adultcarer.nsf or call 0345 678 9005.
People2People is a Social Work Practice pilot set up by social workers under a not-for-profit social enterprise to look at new ways of providing social work support for people to become more active and independent