Norfolk County Council – Carers Charter 

The Carers Charter has been developed through Norfolk County Council to ensure that carers receive support and understanding, no matter what life phase they are in. The Charter is passionate about carers being recognised as individuals in their own right. There are three main focus areas; Carers in Work, Young Carers and Young Adult Carers in Education and Carers in the Community. The Charter aims for employers to enable carers to stay in work if they wish and for young carers to experience the same opportunities and aspirations as their peers, also for carers in the community to be able to access services easily and not just at crisis point.

Fundamentally the resounding message of the Carers Charter is that carers are entitled to a life outside caring and should be acknowledged and respected as the experts of their own lives.

Please read on for more details

Carers in Work 

Carer friendly practices employers should put in place to help and support employees with caring roles:

Principles:

  • Supporting carers is good for employers and for carers
  • Carers should be helped and supported by their employer to stay in work
  • The unique skills carers gain through their caring role should be recognised and valued in the workplace

Carers have a right to expect:

  • Employers that adopt carer friendly practices
  • A Carers Policy that is easy to access that helps them balance their wellbeing, work and caring
  • Managers are well trained and skilled to talk with carers about their caring roles and take suitable action to meet carers’ needs
  • Employers have a positive approach that helps carers identify themselves and understand the help and support available to them

NCC will:

  • Ensure policies relating to carers are all in one place and easy for carers and their managers to find
  • Develop HR staff and our managers to make sure they are empowered to talk about caring with staff and make suitable changes to meet carers’ needs
  • Work with carers within NCC and connect them to help and support services
  • Be a model of good practice and work with other employers to encourage them to be carer friendly and become models of good practice

Young Carers and Young Adult Carers in Education

Support that schools (and other places of learning including colleges, sixth forms, universities and training providers) could provide to young carers and young adult carers whose studies and involvement in school and college life might be affected by caring:

Principles:

  • Young carers are children and young people first
  • Schools’ ambitions for young carers and young adult carers should be the same as for all students
  • Schools should consider the overall health and wellbeing, not just the education needs, of young carers and young adult carers
  • Schools should make sure that young carers and young adult carers have equal access to the same opportunities as other students both in and out of school

Young carers and young adult carers have a right to expect:

  • Help and support from schools to succeed in their studies, take part fully in school life and reach their full potential through raising their aspirations from an early age and offering practical help and support
  • Staff are well trained and skilled in identifying young carers and young adult carers and talking with them to help them access the right help and support
  • A clear Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Policy that young carers and young adult carers and their families are given. This policy should enable young carers and young adult carers to succeed in their education
  • Information in school on what being a young carer or young adult carer means and the help and support available. This information should be easy to access and available in different formats

NCC is committed to:

  • Driving improvements in the quality of information collected and used by schools about young carers and young adult carers and their needs
  • Promoting the Norfolk Young Carers Forum “Young Carer Friendly Tick” Award scheme to schools
  • Working with other services to identify where young carers and young adult carers are in schools and understand how they are doing

Carers in the community

Support that the County Council can offer, or be part of, to help all carers, regardless of who they are caring for, access their local community and support services:

Principles:

  • Carers are people first
  • It is essential that carers have the opportunity for a life outside of caring
  • Carers are, and should be recognised as, the experts in their own lives. Carers must have a voice and be helped and supported to achieve what matters to them

Carers have a right to expect:

  • A dialogue with NCC or one of our service providers that helps and supports carers to explore what they want to achieve in life and how this could happen
  • Access to help and support even if they seem to be coping. Carers should not have to be at a crisis point to be heard
  • Health and Social Care organisations, voluntary groups and communities that are carer friendly and work to link carers to support networks and services
  • Clear, easy to find, jargon free information about carers’ rights and help, support and services available to them

NCC is committed to:

  • Having effective and meaningful conversations with carers about what they want to achieve and what is important to them, to meet their needs to enable them to continue caring. Ensuring there is help and support for carers so they can maintain their health and wellbeing
  • Working with all our health and district council partners to help identify carers, particularly carers with disabilities and carers of a Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic background, who are currently less likely to access services
  • Reaching out to and hearing the voices of all carers, raising the profile of carers and valuing their contribution. As part of this, making sure that we connect carers with each other and carers support groups
  • Train our social care workforce in Carer Awareness, so they know how to identify carers and what help and support we, and others, can offer
    Making information and advice easier to access and simpler to use so carers can find out about the support available. Making sure there are a variety of ways to access any information, not just online

To download the Carers Charter please click here