Many people do not think of themselves as carers, and miss out on the support that is available.

Carers are vital to the support of the person they care for, their families and the care system, and are highly valued by the Council.

A carer is "an adult who provides or intends to provide care for an adult needing care... [who] is not under or by a contract, or as [part of] voluntary work" (Care Act 2014, p. 10). This could be a relative, neighbour or friend who may need support with shopping, housework, managing their money, personal care or help to get out and about.

The care they provide is unpaid, although there are benefits and allowances that carers can claim.

Some people become carers over a period of time. They do more and more for the person they care for. Other people suddenly find themselves in a caring role as the result of an incident that may involve hospital care.

The person you care for may be:

  • a child with special educational needs and or/disabilities
  • an older person
  • an adult with a physical disability, terminal illness or long term health condition
  • an adult with a learning disability
  • an adult with mental health needs
  • a person who has issues with drugs or alcohol.

The person may not live with you but would find it hard to live at home without your help.

Carer Support

If you are an unpaid carer, the council has a legal responsibility to support you in your caring role.

You are entitled to a carer's assessment so that we can find out what support you need and what services are available to help you. Email us at or call us on 0121 569 2266. We will give you information, advice and direct you to the support you need.

There are also a range of carer support services in Sandwell offering independent information advice and support. You can contact these directly.

Where to find out more

Find out more about the information, advice and support for carers that's available in Sandwell and elsewhere.

If you need more general information and advice about how you can handle various problems, please look at our Resilient Residents pages.

If you are the parent of carer of a child with a disability or special needs, contact the Children with Disabilities Team.

Planning for emergencies

You may be concerned about what will happen to the person you care for if something happens to you. Find out what you can do to plan for an emergency.