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Working in Partnership with Carers

New for 2009 - Working in Partnership with Carers. The National Carers Strategy provides a focus as well as 'must-dos' for working in partnership with carers. The need to work closely with carers is obvious in Mental Health and Adult Services. But staff often feel ill equipped to undertake carers assessments. All too often the relationship between staff and carers, instead of being ‘win-win’, can be characterised by distrust and disempowerment on both sides. Staff involved in this area need training and support in working with complex emotions and at the same time empowering carers through carer assessments and care plans in the context of self-directed support and individual budgets.

Telos has been involved in training staff in the newly developed Carers Strategy in Kent and a newly designed workshop ‘Working in Partnership with Carers’ addresses these issues and provides guidance on the implementation of the national as well as local carer strategies in the context of self-directed support. The workshop covers the legal framework of supporting carers and also looks at creative ways to advise and assist carers in using the Carers Grant.

‘Working in Partnership with Carers’ is of particular help for staff working with:

  • Assessment in a multi-cultural context
  • Carers Assessment
  • Nearest Relatives under the Mental Health Act.
  • Implementing home care packages and direct payments using self-directed support.

Where required a focus on working with specific groups of carers, e.g. carers of people with learning disabilities, or people with mental health problems, can be incorporated. A linked programme 'Caring about Carers', (link to home page) has a particular focus on developing and sustaining therapeutic links with carers.

Some feedback from a recent workshop:

  • 'Very informative and easy to learn. Trainer gained interest of trainees easily'
  • 'I will be carrying out Carers Assessments. This course has been invaluable in clarifying my role'
  • 'The workshop was extremely relevant and I will impart knowledge of the day'

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