Carers Respite Service

What is the Carers Respite Service?

Croydon Council has commissioned the Carers Information Service to provide a free, fully funded home-based respite service for carers in Croydon who need a break from their caring role (funding subject to availability). Although we are not a respite service provider ourselves, you can choose who provides the service, from a list that we will give you. We will then pay for the hours that you use, up to 50 hours in total within a period of six months.

Who is eligible for the Carers Respite Service?

To apply to use the service, you must be an adult and caring for another adult aged 18 and over and the cared for person must be resident in the London Borough of Croydon. As the aim is to support carers who are not getting a break, the person you care for cannot currently be receiving a Croydon Council funded care package, such as a direct payment, domiciliary care, day service or sitting service.

What will I get out of it?

The Carers Respite Service can help you to take a break from your caring role. You could use it so that the person you care for can be left at home safely with a care worker, while you go out of the house, or you could stay at home but spend the time doing something for yourself. Some examples of how people have used their break:

• A weekly meet-up with a friend for a walk.

• An online course.

• Doing the weekly dance class on Zoom, provided by the Carers Information Service.

• Catching up on some rest and relaxation at home.

• Shopping and doing errands.

The choice of course is yours and you can use the hours flexibly.

Do I have to pay?

The Carers Respite Service is fully funded by Croydon Council, so there is no charge to you or the person you care for and we take care of reimbursing the home-care provider for the service they provide. You do not need to tell us about any savings or income belonging to either yourself or the person you care for and it won’t affect any of your benefits, or those of the person you care for.

How does it work?

We’ll have a chat with you about your situation and if you meet the criteria, we will give you a list of local Care Quality Commission (CQC) approved home-care providers that you can choose from, to arrange a respite service that best suits your needs. The agency will do their best to provide continuity of staff and there is a greater chance of your cared-for having the same person if you book in regular time slots. Once you have started your respite, your chosen provider will invoice us for the hours you use (up to a total of 50). As this service is for carers who are currently in need of respite, we would expect these hours to be used on a regular basis and there is an expectation that the service should start soon after you are allocated your hours. You may use the hours regularly over the course of a few weeks or months or use the allocation in one go at the beginning of the service, e.g. consecutive days of care. Please also note that the minimum care visit is one hour and you can use the service on Bank Holidays, but as many agencies double the hourly rate on these days, each hour you use will be charged as two from your allocation.

How do I keep track of the hours used?

We recommend you write down how many respite hours you have used and when you used them. Your respite provider should also have this information, but it can be helpful to have your own record in case there are any queries in future. We can send you a ‘respite tracker’ form which you may wish to use to keep a track of your hours. This is for your own use and does not need to be submitted to us.

What happens if I stop using the Carers Respite Service because of a local or national lockdown?

We understand that when people have been ‘shielding’ because they are extremely clinically vulnerable, some carers have not felt comfortable having care workers in their home. Under these circumstances, we will discuss your concerns and may be able to pause the service and allow you to re-start it when restrictions are lifted.

Are care workers allowed to come into our home?

Government regulations currently permit care to be provided in the home, but this could change so if you are in any doubt please contact us. All home-based care providers must follow Public Health England and Government guidelines regarding social distancing, hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). You can view the guidance online by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-domiciliary-care

Do care providers have their own PPE or do I have to provide it?

The home-care providers on our list supply their own PPE and have given us their PPE policy, which was a requirement before approving them for our provider list. All care providers must follow Public Health England and Government guidelines and ensure that their staff are supplied with adequate PPE, such as gloves, aprons and masks.

What happens if I have a complaint about the care provider providing the service?

In the first instance, you would need to talk to the care provider directly about this, where hopefully the issue can be resolved. If this is not possible, then we would liaise with the family and care provider and look at possibly changing agencies to another one on our list. All care providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, further information can be found on their website, including inspection reports and ratings: www.cqc.org.uk or call 03000 616 161.

What happens when I have used all my hours up?

You can continue to receive a service with the care provider you have been using (or another of your choice), by self-funding the hours you use. Alternatively, you can make a referral to Croydon Council asking for a needs assessment for the person you care for. If they assess the person you care for as requiring support, they will be financially assessed to determine whether they need to pay for all or part of their care. Our factsheet, Getting Support from Social Care, explains the process in more detail. For more information, you can telephone Adult Social Care on 020 8726 6500, or email referral.team2@croydon.gov.uk, or complete a referral online:

www.new.croydon.gov.uk/adult-health-and-social-care/support-your-home/care-home.

I used the Carers Respite Service before, can I use it again?

The criteria states that you can only receive the service once; this is to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from this support.

I live in Croydon but the person I care for lives in another borough. Am I eligible?

The criteria states that the person you care for must be resident in the London Borough of Croydon.

I care for a disabled child or young person. Can I use the Carers Respite Service?

The criteria for the service states that you must be an adult, caring for an adult, aged 18 or over. There are specialist short-break and play services for children, some can be accessed independently while others require an assessment and referral from Croydon Council’s 0-25 Children with Disabilities Social Care Service. The Local Offer has a list of available services for children and young people with SEND:

https://localoffer.croydon.gov.uk/

You can also request a parent carer needs assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014. This is separate to your child's assessment. To request a parent carer needs assessment in Croydon, contact Parents in Partnership who have been commissioned to undertake assessments on Croydon Council's behalf, by emailing office@pipcroydon.com. There is further information on their website at: www.pipcroydon.com/parent-carer-needs-assessment.

I am a young carer (under 18). Can I use the Carers Respite Service?

The criteria for the service states that you must be an adult, caring for an adult, aged 18 or over. If you are under 18 and looking after someone, then you can get support, including a Young Carer’s Assessment, from the Off the Record Young Carers Service. The assessment will let you know what kind of help is available to young carers and any respite activities that you can join in with. To contact the service, call 020 8649 9339, option 2 or email youngcarers@talkofftherecord.org, or go to: www.talkofftherecord.org/croydon/young-carers-service/

I am a professional. How do I make a referral to the Carers Respite Service?

To make a referral on behalf of a client, please ensure you have the carer’s consent to pass on their personal details before making a referral. See our referral form.

How to I apply for the Carers Respite Service?

The Carers Respite Service is co-ordinated by Tanya Fitzgerald, who can be contacted on 020 8649 6280 or emailed at: tanyafitzgerald@carersinfo.org.uk. As we are currently working remotely, email is the quickest way to make contact.

This information is also available as a printable PDF here.

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