Definition of a Carer
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill defines ‘carer’ as
“Carer” means a person who provides or intends to provide care for an adult or disabled child;
A person is not a carer for the purposes of this Act if the person provides or intends to provide care
(a) under or by virtue of a contract, or
(b) as voluntary work.
But a local authority may treat a person as a carer for the purposes of any of its functions
under this Act if the authority considers that the relationship between the person providing or intending to provide care and the person for whom that care is, or is to be, provided is such that it would be appropriate for the former to be treated as a carer for the purposes of that function or those functions.
A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are doing what anyone else would in the same situation; looking after their relative or friend to ensure they lead healthy and valued lives. Parent and family carers of someone with a learning disability are a unique group of carers however, as their caring role is often a ‘cradle to grave’ situation.
Some individuals are born with the cognitive impairment that leaves them learning disabled, and many family carers find themselves supporting their children into adulthood and even, for some of our carers, into older age. Equally, many sibling carers find themselves supporting their brother or sister throughout their lives, assisting their parents and taking over carer duties when parents are no longer around. The longevity of caring duties on these families can produce sigificant pressures on families, not least financial, and many of our alliance members have experienced sleep deprivation, endless streams of social care intervention & forms and a sense of isolation in bringing up their disabled child.
The All Wales Forum is a unique organisation, as we are governed by family carers to ensure that we advocate for the rights of carers to be heard, respected and valued in both their role as a family carer and also as citizens in their own right within their local communities.