Carer Involvement Policy
1. ABOUT THIS POLICY
Carers’ Support East Kent exists to support Carers. As such, we are committed to involving Carers in everything we do.
At Carers’ Support East Kent we recognise that Carers are ‘experts by experience’ and therefore should be making a vital contribution to all aspects of our work. This Policy outlines our aim to ensure effective arrangements are in place to support increased Carer Involvement throughout our organisation, and our commitment to developing increased opportunities for any Carer to be able to become more involved in our work if they wish to do so.
2. CARERS ADVISORY GROUP
2.1 Our Carers Advisory Group membership is composed of Carers who are keen to share their skills, knowledge and experience with us, and who have applied in response to an advertisement to volunteer their time and contribution to us specifically within this capacity.
2.2 The Carers Advisory Group has been established to provide direct advice to our Leadership team and Board. It is facilitated by an external consultant engaged by us to support this group to establish itself as a functional and representative forum for engendering meaningful steps towards increased co-production, participation, and change.
2.3 The Carers Advisory Group will be responsible for developing our Carer Involvement Strategy. Our Carer Involvement Strategy will include our agreed arrangements for the ongoing and permanent Carer Advisory Group composition, and scope/role.
2.4 The Board of Trustees of Carers’ Support East Kent will take advice from the Carers Advisory Group regarding strategic planning, and changes that can be made to enable us to more effectively engage directly with Carers when shaping and delivering current and future services.
2.5 The Carers Advisory Group will help us to further identify ways in which we can engage with Carers who currently use our services and wish to play a more active role in contributing to service delivery, and to identify ways that we can better engage with Carers who do not currently use our services.
3. CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCREASED INVOLVEMENT
3.1 We are committed to working more closely with Carers to shape new services and develop the future direction of the organization, demonstrating our accountability to Carers. To this end, we recognize the need to develop better communication channels with Carers to enable their increased engagement, participation, and involvement wherever and whenever Carers are willing and able to contribute.
3.2 We will ensure that the shared ethos throughout our organization is one which demonstrates a commitment to:
value and make meaningful use of the input of Carers in all key activities<
learn from our own and others experiences of Carer Involvement
work to ensure that participation and involvement is a positive and mutually beneficial experience for everyone
provide acknowledgement and feedback in an appropriate and timely manner to all Carers who have contributed.
3.3 Contact with Carers can occur in a multitude of different ways, throughout our daily work. We will work to provide better opportunities within our usual methods and means of contact with Carers to enable us to more effectively capture and record Carers views, and to use this information to assist our evaluation of services provided.
3.4 We will ensure that all Carers who use our services or come into contact with our services are given information regarding how they can become more involved in our organisation if they wish to do so, and that we actively demonstrate our wish to welcome their involvement.
3.5 When planning new services, activities, or projects we will give consideration within the planning process to how we may be able to gather information and views from Carers to inform proposed service design and delivery.
3.6 Whenever we plan or implement ways of increasing Carer Involvement we will consider the following key principles:
3.7 We will make a concerted effort to ensure that Carers from seldom heard and under-represented groups are given increased opportunities for greater involvement and participation in our work.
3.8 We will work to create more opportunities for the Board of Trustees to be able to meet with a range of Carers at engagement events such as Carers Forums, conferences, and/or training and development and consultation events.
3.9 We will be positive about employing Carers, recruiting Carers to our Board of Trustees, and recruiting Carers as volunteers.
4. TRAINING, SUPPORT, MONITORING AND REVIEW
4.1 We will ensure that Carers who do become involved in projects or pieces or work with us:
- have access to training as appropriate
- are properly supported and supervised to enable them to contribute fully and get the best out of being involved
- have appropriate safeguards in place to protect theirs and others safety
- have appropriately agreed renumeration and agreed expenses arrangements put in place prior to activity
4.2 We will ensure that understanding meaningful participation and engagement is included within staff and volunteer training programmes.
4.3 We will ensure that we develop systems to prompt, record, and monitor Carer Involvement.
4.4 We will regularly review the work of the Carers Advisory Group and its membership to maintain its effectiveness, and to inform next steps.
4.5 We will ensure Carer Involvement is regularly discussed at team meetings, senior management meetings, Board meetings, and Board Sub-Committee meetings.
4.6 We will ensure awareness of this Policy via induction and training programmes for all staff and volunteers.