Support for carers

If you provide regular help with activities such as taking medicine, washing or dressing someone either in your home or theirs, you are considered a carer.

Recognising that you are a carer is the first step to getting the support you need. 

The Care Act

The Care Act, which came into effect from April 2015, means all carers are able to ask for support to help make caring easier. This could be:

  • advice and information to help you in your role as an unpaid carer
  • practical support such as arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break
  • a personal budget to spend on things that will help you to carry on caring
  • psychological support
  • a Carers Emergency Card
  • free leisure activities
  • home library service

See our guide to services for carers or contact Carers Network.


You may be entitled to a free assessment if you care for someone and it has an impact on your wellbeing. Currently, your assessment can be face-to-face or by telephone.

The assessment will determine the level of support you receive and you will be involved in planning it. 

Stay in touch

You can sign up to the Carers Network newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news, offers, events and information for carers in Westminster.

Help for young carers

You may be a young person or child looking after someone at home who is unwell or disabled. This person is often a parent, but can be a grandparent or sibling (brother or sister). You are probably not the only carer in your school.

Young carers help in lots of different ways, like doing the housework, getting the weekly shopping, keeping an eye on people, helping them wash and dress, and cheering them up.

Show this leaflet to your mother or father or someone else you trust. For example, you could show it to your teacher. You could ask one of these people to ask a social worker to come and see you.

A social worker might want to hear how you feel, and to get an idea of what you want. This is called an assessment, but it is not a test of how good you are at caring. It is to help sort out what assistance you and your family can get. When the social worker visits you, you can see him or her alone, or, if you prefer, with your mother or father, or with someone else. Remember, social workers want to help you, and your views are important.

People you can contact for help:

  • a teacher at your school
  • westminster city council early help service (phone: 020 7641 4000)
  • young Carers’ Support Services
  • carers Trust
  • the Children’s Society 
  • carers UK

You can also visit People First for information and advice.

Download young people who are responsible for caring for others at home.

Carers Emergency Card

The Carers Emergency Card scheme is designed to give you a peace of mind that, in the event of an emergency, the person you care for will be looked after.

Carers can register with the scheme by filling out a form with details of your caring role and emergency contact person.

You will then receive an ID card which you or a friend/emergency services can use to contact a 24-hour helpline to arrange emergency care for the person you care for.

The card also gives you access to discounts and offers from the Council.

How to register

Read the Carers' Emergency Card Scheme booklet.
Fill out the Carers' Emergency Card Scheme application form.
For more information or help with the form, contact Carers Network on 020 8960 3033.

Home library service


Last updated: 9 December 2016
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