Your support provider should be willing to spend time getting to know you, to find out about your needs and wishes and what is important to you, your family and the person you care for.

What should I look for?

  • Ask how they will approach getting to know you.
  • If you are a family member, ask how they will involve you.
  • They should develop a person centred plan, which details what you, your family and the person with care needs want to achieve.
  • You should receive a contract that sets out what support you will get and when.
  • A decision making agreement should also be developed which clarifies who needs to be involved in decisions or making changes to the support received.
  • Some of the things you might want to check include asking what happens about holiday arrangements both for the staff member and also the person supported, as well as what happens when the main carer, you, needs a break? You might want to choose another support worker for when your usual support worker is on holiday. Or you might want to wait until they get back and perhaps get support from a friend or family member in the meantime. Make sure you discuss this when you are drawing up the contract.

I was impressed by the thorough way in which Carers Trust went about assessing the needs of me, my family and of course my sister who now lives with us.

— Sheila who cares for her sister Carole who became paralysed after a head and neck injury