Carers Information

You are a carer if you provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis to a family member, friend or neighbour who has any illness or disability or is frail due to being older; and who could not manage without your help.

You could be: 

  • A young person under 18 looking after a parent/brother/sister;
  • Looking after a relative with a mental illness or physical disability;
  • The parent of a child with special needs;
  • A friend or relative looking after an older person

You do not have to:

  • Live with the person you care for
  • Be the only carer
  • Be related to the person you care for

The Carer Support Service is a central point of contact for carers where advice and guidance can be given and where carers can be signposted to other relevant services. With consent, the Service forwards requests for carers to speak to a health care worker about their caring role and the impact this has on their life. This can result in a carer being provided with support or could identify opportunities for carers to have a short break from the caring role.

The Service links in with a wide range of carer groups and organisations in the voluntary and community sectors in order to pass on relevant information to carers and connect them with additional supports. Carer Support also organises events, courses and information sessions throughout the year for carers.

Carers Support Needs Assessment/Carer Conversation

A carer is defined in legislation as someone who provides regular and substantial care. If you can identify with this, you are eligible for a support needs assessment/carer conversation. A member of health care staff will meet and talk with you about the changes you have had to make in your life to carry out this role.

The meeting with this staff member will be at a time and place convenient to you. This conversation will be confidential and you will be asked for consent if information can be shared to provide you with additional support. A Support Plan will be completed on your behalf and this will identify if the Trust or another agency or community support can meet your needs.

If you would like to be referred for a Carers Support Needs Assessment/Carer Conversation, please complete the Carer Assessment Request Form found in the Carers Handbook page. 23-24 or ring Carer Support at (028) 9756 5456.

Carer Database

The Carer Support Service maintain a carer database in order to keep carers up to date with services, new supports, events and relevant information. The database is managed in line with Data Protection Information.

The information held also helps the Service to provide the Trust and Departments such as the Health and Social Care Board with statistics in order to maintain services and helps to shape future services for carers.

Please complete the Carers Consent Response Form and return to Carer Support if you wish to be added to the database or ring Carer Support (028) 9756 5456.

Training For Carers

The Trust recognises that some carers may need training to enable them to fulfil caring responsibilities without affecting their own health and well being. Staff already provide a range of training as part of their role in supporting carers, for example managing medicines, swallowing, moving and handling, this can be organised at home. There may be additional training that Carers feel they need. Training can be accessed by contacting Carers Support (028) 9756 5456.

Benefits for Carers

The benefit system is complex and it can be difficult to find out what help is available.

Please refer to the Carers Handbook for further information on the benefits available to carers in Northern Ireland.

You can get further help and advice from an independent advice centre, a Disability organisation or Carers NI, Tel: (028) 9043 9843


Young Carers

The caring role can have a huge impact on children and young people. They often do not know they need support or what support is available to help them in their caring role.  The role can impact on socialising, education and enjoying activities with peers. It can affect self esteem and limit the ability to pursue opportunities that are available to their peers. The Trust is committed to providing support to people who have substantial care needs to minimise the level of caring required by young carers.

Support is provided through Action for Children Young Carers Project. This project provides a variety of supports to young carers based on their individual needs. These include 1-1 sessions, group activities and short breaks.

Young carers can self refer to Action for Children or speak to a health care professional who will refer you with your consent.

Please contact:

Jennifer Hamilton, Project Lead
Action for Children Young Carers Project
Loughshore House
10 Heron Road
Belfast BT3 9LE

Tel: (028) 9046 0500





South Eastern HSC Trust has a Carer Information Booklet with a wide range of useful information for carers including details about local Trust offices; carer training and carer’s needs assessments; benefits and useful contacts for carers, carer health, local carer support groups and a section about support for Young Carers. The booklet is available by clicking here.

A leaflet has been produced to help you to send your details to Carers Support. Please click on the relevant language below to view the leaflet :













Carer Support Service

Ballynahinch Community Services
45-47 Main Street
BT24 8DN

Telephone: (028) 9756 5456

See AlsoDHSSPS Complete A-Z for Carers     DHSSPS Carer’s Strategy – Caring for Carers