In the drive to transform social care services, support for carers has slipped down local agendas.
Following last year’s Carers Assembly held at the National Assembly for Wales, CSSIW wanted to understand more about the experience of carers across Wales.
CSSIW is now publishing more detail about its work and what it has found, as part of Carers Week 2017.
What CSSIW found
There is strong evidence to highlight the vital economic contribution made by carers and the importance of identifying and supporting carers in their caring role.
CSSIW’s year-long engagement with carers found some very strong practice in supporting carers, but this is not consistent across Wales.
CSSIW found that in transforming services in line with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, support for carers has not been at the forefront of planning and delivery for local authorities and their partners.
CSSIW identified two types of carers where support was most limited: parent carers for children with complex needs, and carers of adults with mental health needs.
Most local authorities have carers’ strategies in place, but some of these have not been updated to reflect changes under the Act.
There are examples of positive and innovative practice across Wales which would benefit from spreading more widely.
Funding for carer support services remains largely short term.
Carers are not routinely being offered an assessment of their needs nor provided with information, advice or support.
There is a wide range of information available but carers sometimes have to go to several places to get this and it not always easily accessible, especially at times of crisis.
Chief Inspector Gillian Baranski said:
Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said:
Beth Evans from Carers Wales said:
In the drive to transform services in line with the Act, support for carers has slipped down the agenda, and local authorities, with their partners, need to ensure that carers right to assessment and support is well understood and enacted by frontline staff.
The vital importance of timely access to information, advice and assistance was a key theme repeated by carers, and local authorities need to work with partners to ensure accessible and effective provision.
CSSIW will continue to engage with carers as a core part of its inspection and performance review programme with local authorities, as well as liaising with Carers Wales.
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