Minister for Children and Social Care announces extra £1m for carers for 2018-19

The Minister for Children and Social Care has marked Carer's Rights Day by announcing an extra £1m in 2018/19 for local health boards to work with all partners to enhance the lives of carers.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act gives carers an equal right to have their needs assessed as those they care for. Under the Act, local authorities must provide a support plan to help carers to secure the outcomes that matter to them.

In a statement to mark Carer's Rights Day, Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children and Social Care said: "Unpaid carers of all ages are a valued and valuable part of society. Undertaking 96% of care at community level, not only do carers make a positive difference within families and communities but also contribute more than £8billion to the Welsh economy every year.

The Minister said that the extra money will be for "health boards to work collaboratively with all partners to enhance the lives of carers in line with the priorities they have identified." As a result of Welsh Government consultating with carers and their representatives, they have established that the three national priorities must be:

  • Supporting life alongside caring - All carers must have reasonable breaks from their caring role to enable them to maintain their capacity to care, and to have a life beyond caring.
  • Identifying and recognising carers - Fundamental to the success of delivering improved outcomes for carers is the need to improve carer's recognition of their role and to ensure they can access the necessary support.
  • Providing information, advice and assistance - It is important that carers receive the appropriate information and advice where and when they need it.

The Minister continued: "To ensure that engagement continues with stakeholders, I am establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group. Made up of key partners it will provide a national forum to steer the delivery of improvements for carers and provide a cross government response to the challenges they face. 

"To support this group I can confirm that I will also allocate £95,000 in 2018/19 to fund projects to drive forward a national approach to delivering against the priorities. I have invited stakeholders to a workshop in December to advise further on the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Group. This workshop will be instrumental in developing proposals for nationally funded projects in 2018/19."

Zoe Richards, Young Person and Carer's Manager, welcomed the announcement by the Minister and said that Learning Disability Wales supports the priorities set out.

"Week on week we speak to parents and carers who have not received or asked for a carer's assessment. We already know the huge contribution they make to Welsh life but know that for all those we acknowledge and who access services there are many more who are unaware of what support is available to them."