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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2012): Social care - UK - community care

Britain's army of unpaid carers 'being pushed to breaking point'

N. Lakhani

The Independent, May 8th2012, p. 20

A poll carried out by the Carers Trust has revealed that nearly 60 per cent of adult carers have reported suffering mental problems due to the strain of caring for a relative or friend whilst holding down a job or other responsibilities. And just over a quarter experienced both mental and physical problems.

Personalisation and carers: whose rights? Whose benefits?

N. Moran and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 42, 2012, p. 461-479

Recent years have witnessed the development of cash-for-care schemes in Europe, North America and Australasia. In these schemes, people needing social care are awarded money to pay for the support they choose, instead of receiving services in kind. Carers play a key role in looking after disabled, sick and older people, but measures to increase choice and control for social care service users do not always take into account the potential impacts on carers. Conversely, it has been argued that policies to support carers could be interpreted as perpetuating the dependency of disabled, sick and older people. The research reported here explores these issues through an analysis of a recent cash-for-care initiative piloted in England: the Individual Budgets (IBs) pilot projects. It reports the findings of an evaluation of the impact and outcomes of IBs for carers. The evaluation found that, despite their primary aim of increasing choice and control for service users, IBs also had a positive impact on carers.

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