What does Caring cover?

Are you or do you know a child or adult who looks after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour who needs help because of illness, frailty, disability, mental health or addiction and couldn’t cope without their support?

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid (Source: NHS England)

"Caring" covers a wide range of situations:

  • You are a carer if you look after a partner, family member or friend who is dependent on you for care and/or support because they are older and frail, disabled, have a long term illness or they need help with everyday tasks because of a significant mental health problem and/or a problem with drugs or alcohol.
  • You don’t have to provide care for a set number of hours to be a carer. You may look after someone 24 hours a day/7 days a week or you may provide care for a few hours a week after work or at weekends.
  • You don’t have to live with the person you look after to be a carer. You may live with them, or you may call in to help the person you look after. You may provide practical support (like sorting out paperwork, arranging appointments etc.) away from the person you look after.
  • You don’t have to be an adult - many children and young people find themselves providing care and support for a dependent parent or disabled brother or sister (if you are under 18 years old make sure you see our page on Young Carers for more information about special support for you).
  • You don't need to be receiving Carer's Allowance to be a carer.


Page last reviewed: 19/07/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service

fis@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer

localoffer@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support

CSAAdvice.Signposting@reading.gov.uk 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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