As this week is Carers Week we want to highlight the support available for NICS colleagues who are carers.

What is a Carer?

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being while caring. The impact of caring on health and well-being should not be underestimated.

This year for Carers Week we are being encouraged to ‘Care for the Carer’.   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we recognise that many carers will have additional responsibilities and many people will have caring responsibilities they never had before.

Support is available

The Charity for Civil Servants provides the Carers Digital Resource which has been developed in partnership with Carers UK.  The Carers Digital Resource is full of information, guides and tools to help you manage your caring responsibilities. Covering areas such as your health and nutrition, wellbeing, short breaks, your rights and employment issues.

Highlights include:

  • A range of e-learning courses, guides and downloads including topics such as your health, wellbeing, assistive technology and young carers
  • The Upfront Guide - a unique self-assessment tool that gives you personalised advice and information and details about how the Charity may be able to support you
  • Access to the Carers UK online forum, and the chance to interact with other like-minded carers
  • The Jointly Smartphone App - a free to download tool to help you manage shared caring responsibilities
  • Access the Carers Digital Resource website

DoJ Supporting Carers Guide

The Department of Justice has published a Supporting Carers Guide.  Aimed at DoJ colleagues but applicable to all, this guidance aims to provide relevant information and advice to anyone who is a carer and for managers who have staff with caring responsibilities.

Other support available

The NICS Welfare Support Service provides emotional and practical advice and support to all NICS colleagues, including those who are carers.  This includes helping to complete a Carers Passport and consideration of priority welfare rating.

Carers NI provides advice and support for carers via its website.  You can contact them via telephone or email.

NI Direct provides up to date information on care services and the support available to carers.

AgeNI provides a range of support and advice on caring for an older person.

Further information on how to look after you own health and wellbeing, especially during COVID-19, is available on the NICS staff information hub.

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