Sometime carers will need some guidance and support in order to represent their case to ensure they receive the support to which they are entitled so that they can live a happy and fulfilling life alongside their caring role. Independent advocacy for carers ensures their thoughts and feeling receive a strong voice and puts their concerns at the centre of matters. For this reason Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has invested in a bespoke advocacy support service specifically for carers. This support is in addition to other advocacy services which has been commissioned for other vulnerable groups.
Fife Carers Centre and Fife Young Carers have been commissioned to provide advocacy support to carers who need this, instead of or as well as other support available.
The benefits of advocacy for carers include:
- To promote the welfare of carers and enable individual carers to have stronger voice.
- To support carers to be at the centre of decision making and recognised as equal partners in care.
- To offer independent advice, support and options to carers to enable them to make decisions about their caring role(s).
- To build individual carer’s personal capacity to self-advocate.
- To support carers to access specialist services such as formal legal advice.
The advocacy service will be provided using a range of methods including face-to-face support and/or telephone support, and from locations which meet the needs of the advocacy partner. Outcomes for carers from this support service may include:
- To support carers to ensure any benefits income they are entitled to is maximised.
- To promote to carers the opportunity to receive an assessment of their needs for support and assistance to prepare an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers statement by referral to appropriate agencies.
- To offer guidance and support to carers to prepare an emergency carers plan.
- In all instances the advocacy support will be provided to the carer through a direct conversation.
- To work in a collaborative way with other commissioned carer support services across Fife.
To access this support carers should contact either Fife Carers Centre or Fife Young Carers.