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How can I find a safe carer?

If you need care and support, it’s important that the person helping you is someone you can trust.

All social services departments and private care agencies must register with the regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission. Social services must also ask the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  to run a check on any social care staff who are being recruited.

If you’re employing your own carer via a direct payment, you can still get advice and support from social services. It’s advisable to get the carer DBS-checked. For more information contact the Disclosure and Barring Service on 03000 200 190.

Many people who need care and support like the idea of employing a friend, as they feel at ease with them and trust them. Employing a friend is likely to change your relationship. You must be prepared to treat them as an employee during working hours, and they must take the commitment seriously. Make it clear from the start what the expectations are on both sides, and draw up a contract as you would for any employee.

To find out more about employing your own care workers, contact Disability Rights UK. You can also call HM Revenue & Customs New Employer Helpline on 0300 200 3211, or look at the HMRC New Employer – Getting Started web page.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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