A Carer Passport is a record which identifies a carer in some way and sets out an offer of support, services or other benefits in response. A Carer Passport helps to improve and embed identification, recognition and support for carers in the day-to-day life of an organisation or community.
At Carers UK, we have been working in partnership with Carers Trust, with funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, on a project designed to help local areas introduce Carer Passports in five key settings - hospitals, employment, community, education and mental health trusts.
You can watch a video explaining the Carer Passport scheme here.
The Carer Passport website makes the case for setting up a Carer Passport scheme in your community or organisation, giving you resources and guidance to help you transform recognition and support for carers. If you would like to develop an existing Carer Passport scheme, the site is also full of good practice examples and tools to help you make the most of your existing Carer Passport scheme.
Carer Passport schemes have developed in many different settings but none of these organisations is required to run a Carer Passport scheme. While running a scheme can be a big undertaking, the benefits of doing so – to carers, to the organisations themselves, to the wider community – are clear. By drawing attention to these benefits, we aim to inspire more organisations to set up effective schemes.
Carer Passports can:
- Aid identification and support of carers
- Raise awareness of caring
- Provide a concrete, easily understandable offer of support or services
- Make carers feel valued
- Provide help/assistance to managers or key professionals
- Provide a short-cut so carers don’t have to repeatedly explain themselves
- Help organisations benefit from carer involvement
The use of Carer Passports in hospitals has been selected as a global Innovative Carer Practice by the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and Embracing CarersTM.
“Recognising carers, encouraging them to self-identify and including them as part of an integrated care team is a significant challenge for most health and social care systems. Through the global Innovative Carer Practice initiative, we can share innovative practices, such as the Carer Passport, and encourage health care organisations in other countries to learn, adapt and replicate evidence-informed practices to support the vital role of carers.” Nadine Henningsen, IACO Board Chair.
For more information, please visit the International Alliance of Carer Organizations website.