Amser Short Breaks Fund: Independent Assessor Role Description

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Overview

The Welsh Government is providing a grant three years from 2022 to 2025 for a national Short Breaks Scheme for unpaid carers which aims to increase opportunities for unpaid carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Carers Trust is the National coordinating body for this Scheme and as part of this is establishing a new grants fund called Amser as well as supporting Regional Partnership Boards in distribution of funding for short breaks.

The Amser programme will distribute approximately £3.8m to third sector organisations to provide targeted short break opportunities for unpaid carers across Wales. The funding will cover the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24, with an initial allocation round taking place January – March 2023.

The main aims of the Amser programme are to:

  • Increase the availability and accessibility of short breaks for unpaid carers
  • Provide personalised, flexible, and responsive break options for unpaid carers
  • Prioritise and target short breaks to unpaid carers who most need it.

Through local delivery, Amser aims to achieve the following three outcomes for unpaid carers across Wales:

  • Carers and those they care for will have improved wellbeing
  • Carers will be more resilient and able to sustain the caring relationship
  • The Third Sector will have increased capacity to deliver preventative, responsive breaks to unpaid carers

Amser will work alongside Regional Partnership Boards who have been awarded approximately £4.3 million to support unpaid carers with short breaks in their regions across the financial years 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24. They share the same aims and outcomes but are responsible for their allocation of funding.

The application pack for Amser can be found here. This gives more detail on the aims, outcomes and criteria for funding.

Role of Independent Assessor

The independent assessor role is an important part of the Amser decision making process, providing independent insight and objective assessment of the applications that we receive. You will review the application materials and make an informed and objective analysis of the information provided and assess how well the application meets the Amser funding criteria. From this assessors will make a funding recommendation which will be reviewed by an independent grant advisory panel which is being established to support decision making.

All assessors are expected to demonstrate fairness and impartiality at all stages in the assessment process, and to ensure that their final recommendation is based solely on an objective appraisal of the information available. Assessors are expected to behave in a friendly and professional manner, observe confidentiality, and raise any questions or concerns with the Amser programme team.

Assessors are required to adhere to Carers Trust Conflict of Interest procedure and complete a declaration of interest before each round of assessments. Assessors must also sign a sub-contractor’s agreement.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Taking part in training and familiarising yourself with Amser criteria and application materials.
  • Ensure you declare potential conflicts of interest and if any arise in assessments you are allocated, communicate this immediately with the Amser programme team.
  • Be responsive and flexible in delivering assessments within the proposed fund timeline.
  • Review the grant applications awarded and prepare for an assessment telephone call.
  • Support applicants, via telephone and email, to provide further information about their applications.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the application and its fit with Amser aims and outcomes;
  • Provide analytical, objective and clearly written assessment reports which will be reviewed by the grant advisory panel.
  • Make recommendations on applications, noting any changes to budgets arising during the assessment.

Please note the assessment window is from 9 February until 6 March. You will need to be available during this time period and attend online training on Friday 3 February 2023.

Assessor Profile – what you bring to the role

Assessors will bring a range of experiences and perspectives to the assessment process. Experience in grant assessment is desirable but not essential. We are looking for applicants who bring:

  • An understanding of the need for carers to have a break from caring – either through lived experience, or in a professional setting
  • A commitment to the ensuring that those carers most in need can access a break
  • Knowledge of the third sector in Wales and its role in supporting carers
  • Excellent analytical, written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to read and analyse amounts of written information and to make judgments on it
  • Ability to hold structured conversations which lead to further insight and understanding
  • Ability to work independently, but within an agreed framework;
  • Ability to write clear and concise reports
  • Ability to meet the timescale of the assessment window

We are keen to have a diverse pool of assessors, who will bring an array of their unique experiences to the Amser decision making process.

What Carers Trust can offer you

We will offer you training so that you can undertake this role and you will gain experience of grant making in this new and unique funding programme. You will also get the opportunity to interact with a wide range of third sector organisations supporting carers across Wales.

A dedicated team will support assessors throughout the assessment window, responding to any queries you may have.

Assessors will be paid £75 per assessment and £75 for attendance at the mandatory training. Assessors will need to be registered for their own tax and national insurance, have access to a telephone and computer and be able to complete assessments in line with Carers Trust’s GDPR requirements

How to Apply

To apply please email a letter of application stating how you meet the role description and a copy of your CV to shortbreakswales@carers.org 

If you have an queries about the role, please email Ellie elogan@carers.org 

The deadline for applications is 10am on Thursday 26 January and informal interviews will be held on Tuesday 31 January.