Most people who look after relations or friends are happy to do so, but sometimes they need help and support to continue providing care.

Who is a carer?

A carer is anyone who spends a lot of time looking after a relative, partner, friend or child who is ill or frail or has a physical, mental health or learning disability.

A carer provides regular help with activities such as: dressing, washing and taking medication,in your home or theirs.

Contact us

020 7926 5555
Lambeth Adult Social Care Services

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Assessing your support needs

What is a carer's support needs assessment?

A carer's support needs assessment is for adult carers who care for an adult who has a disability, ill health or is elderly.

A support needs assessment is where you can discuss the support or services you may need.

Together with adult social care services, we will look at how your caring affects your health and wellbeing.

For example this includes your:

  • caring role and how it effects your life and wellbeing
  • health - physical mental and emotional needs
  • relationships social activities and your goals
  • Work, study, training and leisure

When carrying out any assessment, we will adopt what is called a whole family approach.

This means considering how your needs, following being assessed, impacts on other family members.

The assessment will also look at your feelings and choices about caring for instance; are you able and willing to continue caring?

If you have needs for support, contact Lambeth adult social care to request a support needs assessment.

Lambeth Adult Social Care
Phoenix House
10 Wandsworth Road
London SW8 2LL
Telephone: 020 7926 5555


As a carer you are entitled to a support needs assessment regardless of:

  • the amount or type of care you provide
  • your income
  • your level of need for support.

You can also have a support needs assessment whether or not:

  • the person you are caring for, has had a care needs assessment
  • the person you are caring for has been assessed and the outcome is, they are not eligible for care and support.

Eligible for Support

Once you have been assessed and the outcome shows, as a result from caring for another individual; there is a significant impact to your health and wellbeing.

You may be eligible for support.

  • Your are best-placed to judge your wellbeing
  • Your views and feelings are taken into account
  • Decisions are based on your circumstances and not on assumptions about you
  • we want you to have complete participation in the decision making
  • Your needs and the person you are caring for both needs to be balanced
  • The importance of reducing existing needs is to prevent / delay further needs from occurring.

A care and support plan is devised to put care and support services in place for the services identified through the outcomes.

For more information on the eligibility for carers: Care support needs assessment

2. What does a care and support plan consist of?

Your support plan must include:

  • details of the needs identified in the assessment
  • which need meet the eligibility criteria
  • Which needs Lambeth adult social care services are going to meet, and how
  • the outcomes that you want to achieve.
  • information about direct payments
  • information about budgets available. This is the amount of money worked out by the council on how much it will cost to arrange the necessary support for you or necessary care for the person you are caring for.
  • information and advice to support you in your role as a carer and address your needs

3. What help could I receive if I am eligible for support?

If you are assessed as eligible for support the following are some examples you the kind of support that may be available for you as a carer.

Helping you to get around :

  • taxi fares
  • driving lessons
  • repair and insurance
  • cost for a care where transport was crucial

Technology to support you:

  • mobile phone
  • computer where it is not possible to access computer services from a local library

Help with gardening

Help to relieve stress, improve health and promote wellbeing such as gym membership.

4. How do you know things are working well?

You will know things are working well as you :

  • will have a better understanding of our adult social care services.
  • are talking to a team of staff who understand what you want and need.
  • know what your options are.
  • are in control of what happen.
  • feel safe.
  • have all the information and support you need to make good decisions.
  • are happy with the care and support you receive.
  • are being listened to.
  • your rights are being respected.
  • know where to get the advise and support you need.
  • trust the information provided, and that it is up to date
    It is important that the information, advice and advocacy we provide works for you. If you need help to use the information or to get your views across, an independent advocate can be provided

5. Information and advice

Lambeth adult social care services will provide information and advice to everyone. This includes information and advice to those whose needs are considered not to be eligible for care and support.

Information and advice is essential to enable you to:

  • take control
  • make well-informed choices about your care and support as well as how it is funded
  • promote your well-being by increasing your ability to exercise choice and control.

Lambeth adult social care services will provide you with information and advice of:

  • how social care works
  • how to access care and support
  • details of the needs that have been identified
  • the care providers and services you can choose
  • how services are paid for
  • how to obtain financial advice
  • how to raise concerns regarding safeguarding i.e. What to do and who to contact if you are worried about a vulnerable adult who maybe at risk of harm or neglect.
  • how to access preventative services that may delay or prevent your needs from advancing further.
  • how to stay independent
  • how to plan a head

Where the outcome is clear that you or the person you are caring for are not eligible for care and support services. Information and advice may be all the support that Lambeth adult social care can provide you with.

The information and advice provided will be relevant to the person you are caring for or your specific circumstances.

For more on information and advice visit Carers UK

6. Carers' Respite

Everyone needs time off from the physical and mental demands of caring. Many carers want to take full responsibility for the person they care for. However, it is important that you look after yourself too.

Even a short respite can help you to come back to your caring role refreshed and better able to continue caring.

Arranging a carer's respite

There are many different ways of organising respite, be it for an hour a week, a holiday, or regular help with the day-to-day tasks of caring. The important thing is to know that the person you care for is safe.

There is no fixed entitlement to carers' respite, and it is important to remember that arranging respite can take some time.

For some carers' respites, you need to have an assessment first with social services. For others, you can refer yourself to the organisations.

To begin a discussion about arranging a carer's respite, please contact us.

Resources are limited and we must ensure that arranging help, care and support for those in need comes first. This may mean that we cannot always provide the carers' breaks that you would like, or meet your needs in the way you might prefer.

Types of carer's respites

Here are some of the types of carers' respites that may be available to you.

Respite Care provided by the council
The council can arrange care for the person you care for while you take a break.
This could be at a residential or nursing home or home care.

There are also a range of services available in the community to help you as a carer.
If you would like to find out more about carer’s services, you can visit Carers Hub Lambeth. Or drop into the Carer’s hub at 336 Brixton Road, London Sw9 7AA... You can also contact them via phone on 020 7346 6800 or email

Fix yourself a break

The Fix Yourself A Break (FYAB) scheme aimed to help carers who needed support. Under the scheme you could apply for a one-off payment of up to £200 to help to pay for a short break or to buy goods and services to support you in your role as a carer.

From April 2015 all councils have a duty to offer all carers an assessment to determine what help we may need to support you in your caring role. The assessment will provide the basis for determining eligibility for support. The purpose of this is to create more equal and fair access to support for carers across England and Wales.

The change has been brought into effect following the most significant reform of care and support in over 60 year, ‘the Care Act’.

The Care Act is a new piece of law which came into effect in April 2015. This law has updated adult social care across England and Wales and has brought in many positive changes which we hope will benefit you.

As a result of this, Lambeth Adult Social Care from the 1st April 2015, will not be making any further Fix Yourself a Break awards. Instead we will be assessing carers and providing those that are eligible with a support plan and where appropriate a small personal budget may be identified.

This is intended to help carers with their own support needs and allow them to keep caring whilst maintaining their own wellbeing.

If you have previously received support through the Fix Yourself a Break scheme, we would encourage you to have a carers assessment so we can work with you and determine how best to support you.

If you would like to request a Carers Assessment please contact the Council’s Initial Contact Service by Email: or calling on 020 7926 5555

They will request an assessment for you from the team that is already supporting the person you are caring for. It is likely that the telephone lines will be busy, so if possible we suggest that you email us rather than calling.

Alternatively if you know the team already supporting the person that you care for, you can go direct to them.

Time for you

There are some services that offer you a chance to take time for yourself to relax and offer a range of alternative therapies.

There are some others that will give you a chance to meet up with other carers for a few hours, knowing that the person you care for is being looked after.

Sitting services

With this type of service, you can have a break while the person you care for remains in their home with a trained person who will look after them.

Sometimes, the service will include taking the person you care for out for a short walk.

With a sitting service, you are usually offered a break of several hours, either on a one-off basis, or a regular arrangement of set hours each week.

Sitting services are provided by registered agencies, whose staff will have received training to ensure that they can provide the appropriate level of care in your absence.

Sitting services are also provided through voluntary organisations.

Night sitting service

It is important to get some uninterrupted sleep so that you are able to continue your caring. Some organisations provide a trained carer who can stay over to take over your caring responsibilities.

Help in crisis services

This is a one-off sitting service which may be available at short notice for carers needing immediate relief due to illness, exhaustion, distress or other family crisis.

Day care services

There are alternatives to someone coming to your home.

The person you care for may be able to spend a morning, afternoon, or day at a day centre, a residential home or a nursing home, depending on their needs and the level of care they require.

Day care can provide an opportunity for company, educational, occupational and leisure activities, outings and a meal.

Some day care services are managed by the council; others by the health authority; and others by voluntary organisations.

Day care in a residential or nursing home setting

Day care in a residential or nursing home setting can often be more flexible in terms of time - and can start at 7am and end at 10pm.

Meals are provided, and activities similar to those at day centres arranged.

Personal care, such as bathing, is also available.

Overnight or weekend breaks can also be arranged, and can act as an introduction to a home where short stays could be taken at a later date.

Day care services for children

There are various types of day care services for children with disabilities. This can include day nurseries, family centres, playgroups, and playschemes.

Some schools also have after school clubs.

Contact the children with disabilities team for further information:

Children with Disabilities Team
Phoenix House
10 Wandsworth Road
London SW8 2LL
Telephone: 020 7926 5555

Longer breaks

The person you care for can spend time away in a residential or nursing home, or hospice, depending on the level or type of care needs.

This can be for a weekend, week or fortnight as needed, and can be booked in advance to ensure that both carer and cared for receive regular respite.

It may also be possible for someone to come and 'live in' with the person you care for, to take over your caring tasks whilst you take a break for a few days or longer.

Breaks away

Some people with mental health problems may be eligible for a break away in a hotel which offers specialised care.

Breaks together

Sometimes either you or the person you care for would like a break together. This could be taken in many parts of the country where there are hotel facilities catering specifically for people with nursing or care needs.

Carers are able to relax and enjoy a holiday whilst someone takes over their caring tasks. The advantage of this is that both of you have a holiday.

Hospice care

If you are caring for someone who is terminally ill they may be eligible for a short stay in a hospice.

Contact us

If you are an adult carer, and would like to receive support from Lambeth Adult Social Care services, phone us on 020 7926 5555, and we will put you through to the right team.

You may also find help from the following:

  • Saga Respite for Carers Trust provides a limited number of free holidays each year for carers over the age of 50 and the people they look after.
  • The Family Fund can provide grants towards the cost of holidays for families on a low income who are caring for a child with a severe disability.
  • The Family Holiday Association is a charity providing low income families with breaks at holiday sites, or grants to help with the cost of a holiday away from home. A social worker, GP, health visitor or welfare agent will need to be refer you.
  • The Children's Country Holiday Fund provides respite breaks in the countryside for young carers aged 6 to 16 and disadvantaged children and young people.
  • The national charity Diabetes UK offers low cost holiday and a bursary to families who cannot afford the cost to travel to UK holiday sites. You can contact them on 020 7424 1000 and ask for care support team.
  • The Turn2us, charity helps you find sources of financial support based on your needs and circumstances.

7. CarePlace care and community services directory

CarePlace is a free online directory of care services and information in London.

You can find information on:

  • Residential homes and support living
  • Care advice and advocacy
  • Education and employment
  • Health
  • Support at home
  • Support for carers
  • Leisure and community services

8. Shared Lives

What is Shared Lives?

Shared Lives is an adult placement scheme which offers adults with a learning disability an alternative and highly flexible form of accommodation and care support provided by individuals or families within their own home. People with learning disabilities are able to share the life and activities of the Shared Lives carer and their family.

The service is distinguished by the following features: Placements are part of an organised Shared Lives scheme that approves and trains the Shared lives carers, They receive referrals for the service, match the needs of service users with the Shared Live carer, and monitor the placements.

People using Shared Lives services have the opportunity to be part of the Shared Lives carer’s family and social networks.

  • A Shared Live carers can use their family home as a resource.
  • Placements provide committed and consistent relationships.
  • The relationship between the Shared Lives carer and the person placed with them is of mutual benefit .
  • Shared Lives carers can support up to three people at any one time.
  • Shared Lives carers do not employ external staff to provide care to the people placed with them.
  • Shared Lives can also provide tailor made day activities that are based within the carer's home or in the community.

How it works

The Shared Lives scheme assess the skills, qualities, values, experience and commitment of the prospective Carer whilst also sharing information about the scheme and the caring roles and responsibilities. Specific training is completed by the Carer prior to approval. Once approved the scheme aims to match the personality, lifestyle, skills and knowledge of the carer to the needs and preferences of the person with social care needs.
Once the arrangement is set up the scheme provides on going support to ensure all involved are both happy and safe.

Carers receive a weekly fee for the care and support service that they provide and a weekly contribution from the person living with them to cover the costs of their rent, food and utilities. Shared Lives Carers receive tax concessions for the support that they provide.

The HMRC Tax Concession for Shared Lives carer is given on the basis that the Shared Live Carer uses their own home in their work and includes the person they support in their family life. It is a generous concession, similar to the agreement which exists for foster carers.

People who provide care and support, but who do not use their own home or include someone in their family life are not entitled to the Shared Lives Tax concession. Some Shared Lives schemes provide non-Shared Lives services (such as domiciliary care) as well as their regulated Shared Lives service.

These other services may be very valuable and share some of the values of Shared Lives, but the people employed in them would not be eligible for the Shared Lives tax concession.

Further information can be found on the HMRC Tax Concession for Shared Lives carers web page.

How to apply to be a Share Lives Carer

Grace Eyre’s Shared Lives scheme is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and ensures that the Carers have the right level of support to ensure that they are able to provide a safe, positive, nurturing environment where the individual can develop their skills, confidence, friendships and relationships, and live the life of their choice within their local community.