Carers are people who provide support to others, whether they are friends, relatives or neighbours. People receive care for many and varied reasons, including;

• Serious physical illness
• Long-term physical disability
• Long-term neurological conditions
• Mental health problems
• Dementia
• Addiction
• Learning difficulties

(Each carer’s experience is unique to their own circumstances)

Carers have a range of roles regarding safeguarding – they can be the person who raises the concern, be vulnerable to harm and abuse themselves, or they can be abusers.
Carers may be involved in situations that require a safeguarding response, including:

• witnessing or speaking up about abuse or neglect
• experiencing intentional or unintentional harm from the adult they are trying to support or from professionals or organisations they are in contact with
• unintentionally or intentionally harming or neglecting the adult they support on their own or with others


A carer’s assessment is for carers over 18 years old who are looking after another adult over 18 years old who is disabled, ill or elderly. It is an opportunity to record the impact of caring and what support or services are required to help make life easier as a carer.
Any carer who appears to have needs for support can have an assessment which will be carried out by the local council.

If you provide care for an adult and think you may qualify for assistance, you can request a Carers’ Assessment by contacting your local Adults Social Care Team, details can be found at the bottom of the page.

Unpaid or Informal Carers

An unpaid or informal carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Someone in their seventies who cares 24/7 for their spouse with severe dementia is a carer. A teenager who offers emotional support and helps to keep the household running as and when the fluctuating nature of their parent’s mental health requires it – is also a carer. The two situations are very different, but both are examples of the 7 million carers in the UK today. Carers Trust.

Please see the Stephen Learning Briefing – Information for Carers which highlights Carer’s rights and how they should be involved and consulted with in planning and delivery of care.

The Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme adopted by police services and local authorities across the country.
It encourages carers, families, friends or neighbours, to hold useful information about a vulnerable person with dementia that can help the police find them if the person goes missing.
The basis of the scheme is for vital information about the person such as medication, description, mobile number, photograph, significant places in the person’s life and their daily routine, to be recorded on a form.
Find more information and complete the Herbert Protocol form via Cleveland Police.


The Open Dementia e-learning Programme is aimed at anyone who comes into contact with someone with dementia and provides a general introduction to the disease and the experience of living with it. This programme is designed to be accessible to a wide audience and includes a considerable amount of video footage shot by both the Alzheimer’s Society and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) where people with dementia and their carers share their views and feelings on camera. E-Learning

Sources of Support and Advice

Carers UK Adviceline 0808 808 7777

Hartlepool Borough Council Carers Information 

Hartlepool Carers

Middlesbrough Council Carers Information 

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Carers Information

Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council Carers Information

Links to Other Websites

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