Last updated: 12 March 2024

Next review: 19 July 2024

This page provides an overview of the support available to unpaid carers of all ages who live in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Who Are Carers?

As defined by the NHS, 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”.

The Carers Trust definition of a carer is "anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support”.

This page will focus on three core groups of carers and our universal offer. However, this will not exclude other groups of carers, such as:

  • Working carers: people caring who juggle this with work
  • Former carers: people who were carers, but where caring has come to an end
  • Older carers: people who are older adults with caring roles.

All-Age Carers strategy

Our first All-Age Carers Strategy (2019 to 2022)  was ratified by the London Borough of Waltham Forest Cabinet in March 2019 and came into effect in April 2019.

The strategy focused on three core groups of carers, plus our universal offer: Universal Offer, Young Carers, Adults Carers, and Parent Carers. Each cohort had a lead service(s) who are responsible for delivering support, and working towards achieving the commitments made. The same will apply to the new commitments we make in this strategy.

We know that there are other groups of carers such as carers who juggle caring with work, carers who are older, and carers where caring has come to an end, who also can access support through our named stakeholders and providers.

The most recent Council’s All-Age Carers Strategy and Action Plan was ratified by cabinet in April 2023.

All-Age Carers Strategy (2023 – 2026) (PDF)

All-Age Carers Strategy (summarised version) (PDF)

All-Age Carers Action Plan (2023 – 2026) (PDF)

Image of the all age carers strategy which includes young carers with image of  a group of characters, parent carers represented by an image of a family, universal offer with an image of a wheelchair user, and adult carers with an image of a two individuals.

Young Carers (0 to 18)

Children under 18 who are in a position of caring for another, regardless of how much care or how frequently they provide the care, are young carers.

Parent Carers

Parent Carers provide support to their children, including grown up children who could not manage without their help. The child/adult can be ill, disabled, or have mental health needs.

Adult Carers (18 and over)

18 and over, caring for another with physical, mental or wellbeing needs which has an impact on their own needs, or likely to do so if relevant support has not been put in place.

Universal Offer

Our universal offer is designed for all Carers who may need one off support/ intervention, or personalised information, advise and guidance from our dedicated Carers support service Carers First or digital services. This includes former Carers, Working Carers and Older Carers.