Staff Carer Networks

How Can you support Carers in the workplace?

There are many ways you can support Carers in your workplace. Signing up to the Carers Quality Award and Employers for Carers is a good start.

You may also decide to set up a Staff Carer Network.

A Staff Carer Network is an internal network within your workplace that is set up to support the employees who are Carers. A Staff Carer Network can be both a source of information for Carers as well as a way to improve their wellbeing and provide an opportunity for peer support.

Emma Krasinska, Carers Lead at Lincolnshire County Council, talks about the benefits of setting up a Carer Network in the workplace.

To be able to provide a Staff Carer Network you will need to appoint a person within your workplace as a Carer Champion. This person does not necessarily need to be a Carer themselves but they will need to have an understanding of what defines a Carer. The Carer Champion will coordinate the Staff Carer Network as well as disseminate information and updates to their colleagues with caring responsibility’s.

A Carer Champion can begin by asking Carers within the workforce what they would prefer in terms of a Carer Network. Each Staff Carer Network can be different and it depends on both what is feasible for your organisation or business combined with peoples preferences.  We recommend notifying your colleagues that it is your intention to provide a Carer Network and invite them to take part in shaping it.

What platform Should you use?

There is no right answer about which platform is best suited to provide a Staff Carer Network and it may be that it utilizes multiple resources or methods.

Staff Carer Networks may Comprise of:

· Meeting for a coffee for 20 minutes at a convenient time

· A virtual network on your internal network platform

· The use of a messaging app such as teams

· Part of a formal agenda for workplace meetings

Your Carers policy could even encompass all of the above. 

Donna Bradford, Service Manager for Carers and Relatives at LPFT, talks about the Staff Carer Network implemented in her workplace.

Every-One can support you in your role as a Carer Champion by providing you with Carer Champion training and ongoing support and advice.

Your line manager should also have an understanding of what your role as a Carer Champion involves and the extra responsibilities you will be required to undertake.