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Information and support for Parent Carers

What is a Parent Carer?

A Parent Carer is - A person aged 18 or over who provides or intends to provide care for a disabled child for whom the person has parental responsibility.

When your child turns 18, although you will no longer be classed as a Parent Carer, you will still be considered a Carer under The Care Act 2014 as long as you continue to care for your child / young person. But please be aware that professionals may have an increased say in decisions taken about your child / young person, under some circumstances, if your child / young person can’t make a decision for themself. This is known as ‘lacking capacity’ and is covered by the Mental Capacity Act.

Information, Advice and Support for Parent Carers

Torbay Local Offer

Webbased information about services for children and young people with a Special Education Need (SEN) or Disability, and thier Parents / Carers

Torbay Family Information Service

Webbased information for families and people working with them in Torbay. Browse the categories below or use the search box to find details of childcare, local events, school holiday activities, leisure clubs, sports clubs, support and advice and much more.

Torbay Carers Service

Anorganisation that actively support and work in partnership with carers, to get the best outcomes for both them and the person for whom they care.

Signpost for Carers Magazine

Magazine providing specialist information and advice to unpaid carers in Torbay

Courses for Carers (Carers Education Torbay)

A list of programmes available to unpaid carers who live in Torbay and care for someone living here. Unless otherwise stated programmes are provided free of charge.

Carers Aid Torbay

A local Community Interest Company (CIC) providing a range of practical and emotional support services to ease the stresses of unpaid Carers across the Bay.

Tissues and Issues (Peer Support Group and Coffee Mornings)

A lovely bunch of parents/grandparents/carers, of people with diagnosed and pending diagnosis of disabilities. Here to support each other along this rocky road. They provide both a facebook based peer support group and fortnightly coffee mornings.

SENDIASS Parents Support Group and Coffee Mornings

SENDIASS Torbay run coffe mornings and a virtual support group run via a closed Facebook group.

Torbay Parent Carer Forum

A voluntary organisation, run by a group of volunteer parent/carers, who are working to improve the lives of all disabled/SEN children, young people and their families in Torbay.

Short Breaks

Short Breaks provide children and young people with disabilities with an opportunity to spend time away from their parents or primary carers, relaxing and having fun with their friends. They provide families with a ‘break’ from their caring responsibilities; they give parents a chance to unwind rest or spend time with other children.

Short Breaks can include any activity for a disabled child or young person from up to an hour in a universally available inclusive club or activity to attending a specialised setting for a few sessions or days as determined necessary by a specialist assessment carried out by the Children with Disability Team (e.g. holiday play schemes and short breaks with family to family carers).

Navigate: parent mentoring offered by Scope

Navigate is a national mentoring service that provides emotional support for parents of disabled children. This service offers a six-week programme that aims to put you in touch with a personal advisor, helping you to talk about your feelings and concerns.

National online groups and forums

Please stay safe online and never give any personal details that could identify you. If you're not sure, visit the Get Safe Online website for some top tips before you start.

  • Carers UK Forum join in with the conversation and get advice from other carers.
  • Macmillan - online community carers group offering a safe and supportive place for people looking after someone with cancer to share worries and emotions.
  • Mental Health Carer Forum a friendly space for discussion, help and support with issues surrounding mental health.
  • Mencap Family Hub online community for parents and carers of people with learning disabilities.
  • Talking Point is the Alzheimer's Society's online community for people with dementia and their carers.
  • Blue Jay is an online carer support group that is on every Monday from 6pm to 7.30pm for carers who support someone with an eating disorder. It is run by the national eating disorder charity, B-eat who also have online message boards.
  • Scope is a forum for people with disabilities and their carers
  • My Parkinson's Team is an social network for people with Parkinson's and their carers.
  • Headway Health Unlocked is an online community for people with a brain injury and their carers.
  • Deaf Plus is an online forum for people with hearing impairments and their carers.
  • Health Unlocked has a range of forums and communities covering all sorts of conditions and health related topics. You can even start up your own community.

This is not a complete list. Online forums are becoming increasingly popular and more communities are being developed all the time. Please make sure you stay safe online while using any type of group or forum.


Financial assistance including Benefits

Carers Allowance

A benefit that carers may be eligable to recieve if they spend at least 35 hours a week caring for, either a child who recieves Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or higher rate, or a young person who recieves Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component at any rate.

Carers Credit

A National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record.

Carers Premium

This is an allowance that you get on top of some benefits. You can get it if you already get a benefit such as income support or housing benefit. To claim Carer Premium, ensure you always notify the benefits agencies that you are a Carer. You can also ask for more information about Carers Premium at your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office.


A limit on your charges for water and sewerage services, if you meet certain conditions.

Bay Benefits

A sevice offered by Care Aid Torbay with entitlements advisors will work through the benefits process with unpaid carers.

Parent Carer Needs Assessments

What is a Parent Carers Needs Assessment?
If you are a Parent Carer and your child is under 18 years old, you now have the right to an assessment of your own needs and wellbeing under the Children and Families Act 2014. Your child does not need to have a social worker.

The Children and Families Act 2014 recognises that your wellbeing is important. When you feel healthy, settled and well supported you will be more able to cope with your caring role. The Parent Carer Needs Assessment gives you a chance to consider your caring role and what help you may need to balance this role with your own health, wellbeing, interests, work and family.

Who is entitled to request a Parent Carer Needs Assessment?

You can ask for a Parent Carers Needs Assessment if you feel that you are in need of support.

To help you consider whether this applies to you it may help to answer the following questions for yourself:

  • Do you feel that caring has an effect on your physical health? For example do you have chronic pain that may be caused by repeated lifting of your child? Do you have a chronic condition that may be stress related, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
  • Do you feel that caring has an effect on your mental wellbeing? For example do you often feel low, anxious, tired or lack motivation?
  • Does caring prevent you from achieving everything you want to? For example does caring limit the time you have to pursue your own interests, socialise or relax? Does caring add financial strain that in turn limits your leisure opportunities? Would you like to work but are unable to due to your caring role?

If you find yourself answering yes to one or more of the questions and it is becoming an issue for you in your life, then it would be fair to assess yourself as being in need of support.

Please see the Parent Carer Needs Assessment Flowchart and the Torbay Parent Carers Assessment of Need and Plan of Support in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Please note that no additional resources have currently been identified to underpin this process.

Caring for a child / young person over the age of 18

Carers of adults (people over the age of 18) are recognised under The Care Act 2014.

Health and Wellbeing Checks / Carer’s Assessments

All Carers over 18 who live in Torbay can have a Carers Health and Wellbeing Check by the Carer Support Worker from their doctor’s surgery as a basic Carer’s Assessment. If you care for someone who is not the Trust’s responsibility, such as a child or a resident of another authority, and need additional support, then the Check will be forwarded to the relevant people who can support you. If your situation is complicated, you can choose to be seen by your Health and Social Care team (details on back), but it is still worth linking in with the support at the surgery. If you don’t want to be seen by someone from the surgery or Health and Social Care team, then Crossroads Care can also undertake Carers Health and Wellbeing Checks and organise support. A Carer’s Assessment is not an assessment of how good you are as a Carer, and will not affect any benefits. It looks at the different ways that caring affects your life and helps you work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family. Your physical and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment. As a result of the assessment, you will be offered advice and guidance to help you with your caring responsibilities, or to help you plan if you are unwilling or unable to continue caring.

Carer’s Services

Most Carers Services in Torbay are ‘Universal’ services, (such as the Carers Register or Signposts Information Service), which may be used by any Carers. Some Carers may be eligible for additional support, such as Emotional Support Vouchers to access counselling support about your caring, or a small personal budget to spend on something that gives you a break. You may want to be put in touch with local Carer support groups so you have people to talk to, or to attend Carers Education courses such as First Aid or Manual Handling. There is a wide range of support available, and the Carers Assessment will help you work out what is right for you. For details of all Carers Support in this area visit Torbay Carers Service.

Support for Sibling

Torbay Yong Carers

Suport for children and young people under 18 who look after or help to look after someone who has a serious illness, disability, mental ill-health or is affected by drugs or alcohol.

Torbay Young Adult Carers

Support for children / young people ages 16-25 who caryout a caring role.