Kent Police is committed to the wellbeing of officers and staff as they are the force’s most valuable asset. Crystal Clear, one of its Staff Support Associations aims to support staff with a disability, Carers and their line managers. Through this platform they have profiled the support Carers in their workforce can access, reviewed policies and practices in place to support Carers, developed a Carers 5 Point Plan and run a Carers awareness event for staff.
Kent Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon:
"I am a Carer for my son and have been for 30 years. I therefore understand the challenge and commitment required of people in similar positions. I am fully committed to empowering and supporting working Carers."
Kent Police Carers 5 Point Plan
In 2017 as part of National Carers Week, Kent Police launched its Carers 5 Point Plan:
- Carer footprint in the Force: Colleagues are encouraged to voluntarily record Carer details in an internal HR system. This helps line managers to support and understand Carers.
- Raise knowledge and awareness: There have been presentations at internal culture meetings and communications via various platforms.
- Develop a toolkit on the intranet: This includes guidance for line managers and signposts support for Carers. It will also soon feature frequently asked questions.
- Survey: A survey was created to highlight any gaps around needs and capture what is working. Over a 4-week period, 141 Kent Police employees completed it and the findings are being progressed.
- Carers Support Group: Carer drop-ins have now being organised across Kent. The attendance is for anyone to offer support and advice.
Carers in Kent Police event
In November 2017, Kent Police held an event attended by over 150 officers and staff from Kent Police and Essex Police. The opening address was given by Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon who has been a Carer for his son for 30 years. He shared a short personal video of his son, Michael, highlighting the importance of caring for the Carers. Other speakers included individuals from Kent County Council, HR, Carers FIRST, Finance and Welfare. The event also offered the opportunity for networking and visiting stands from British Red Cross, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Alzheimers Society, Benevolent Fund and many more.
Feedback from staff attending the event was overwhelmingly positive:
"As a Carer I didn't know there was so much support as I felt isolated."
Kulbir Pasricha, Vice Chair of Crystal Clear and a Carer is heading up this project:
"My message to staff is that you may not think of yourself as a Carer, perhaps you've looked after someone for a long time without ever calling yourself one, or maybe you think the help you give is simply what you should be doing. If so, you could be missing out on the help and support that is available."