Dealing with caring responsibilities | Education Support
Coronavirus update: We continue to be here to provide mental health and wellbeing support to all education staff.

Dealing with caring responsibilities

You are a carer if you provide (unpaid) support and care for someone who has an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction. 

It can be difficult when relationships change to include caring responsibilities as often it is not what people wanted or expected (sometimes for both carer and the cared person).

As well as the additional tasks that can take time and sometimes physical effort there is also the emotional impact of seeing someone ill, having to look after them and also sometimes dealing with their resistance to being cared for.

Talk to your senior leader

It is important that your school or college understand your circumstances so they can see what changes they can make to help you manage your responsibilities. Perhaps there are ways of flexi working or reducing hours to help. As a carer, you have a right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant and to request flexi working. (See Carer's UK website for more advice on your employment rights).

Getting support

If you meet the criteria of a carer then you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance. You may also be able to get housing and council tax benefits or the person you care for may be entitled to benefits. (Turn2us or Citizens Advice can help you work out what financial support is available).

Also, you may be able to get help from your local council to support you and the person you are looking after. This can include an assessment of the person and equipment or help from a council carer (see Carer's UK or Independent Age websites).

You may be entitled to support to help you have a break if you have a carer’s assessment or there are voluntary organisations that can help (see NHS Carers Direct for a list).

Technology is being developed to help carers and people be cared for, Carers UK has information on these new technologies and how they could help.


Looking after yourself will increase your tank of resilience to be able to deal with the changes or implications of your caring responsibilities. Eating well, exercising, reducing stress, doing things that you enjoy can be even more important. See sections on:

How we can help