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Chapter objectives To articulate the challenges unpaid carers face in contemporary Wales. To explore the implications of Welsh legislation and policy for unpaid carers. To suggest a way forward for social workers in Wales to develop practice in support of unpaid carers. Introduction Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (SSWWA), an unpaid carer is understood as an adult or child who provides care or support to another person who would not be able to cope without that support, due to a variety of issues including physical

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Introduction In this chapter the discussion focuses on key policies on unpaid care since the 1990s, including those that are specifically about support for carers and others of direct relevance to unpaid care. As discussed in Chapter 1 , carers’ campaigning groups were active in the development of policies, becoming centrally involved in the development of care in the community. Yet, the policy context in 1990 was unpromising to carers. Not only were resources for care services restricted and priority given to service users without carers but also the

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Introduction The number of people in need of care is growing steadily in many European countries because of population ageing and a rise in chronic illnesses ( Colombo et al, 2011 ). Countries handle this new demand for care differently. In Germany, individuals are encouraged by the long-term care insurance scheme (LTCI) to get care at home, provided by their family or friends, rather than institutional care ( Schulz, 2010 ). This non-institutional care is called ‘unpaid care’ (also often referred to as ‘informal care’): providing health-related care or help

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Rights, Resources and Relationships
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This book examines policies on unpaid care throughout the UK since the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act. It questions why, after decades of policies and strategies, unpaid care remains in a marginal position in the social care system and in society more broadly, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It provides critical analysis of key policies and professional practice over three decades and highlights the continuing challenges faced by people in caring relationships, as well as reflecting on developments in the position of unpaid carers in the system of social care.

By questioning why this crucially important sphere of human life remains under-resourced, it sheds light on the ways in which care is understood and how policy makers and service providers perceive the need for support.

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129 SEVEN unpaid carers and adult social care provision overview As has been the case historically, in the UK most caring is unpaid and provided by families. This chapter examines the issues relating to this population, the current policies for unpaid carers and the implications of recent proposals for adult provision. It discusses the concept of ‘choice’ and whether the choice agenda with regard to social care extends to unpaid carers. It considers developments with regard to carers’ rights and entitlements and examines the financial implications for

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is a subject that politicians would prefer to avoid, said Dilnot, ‘we have allowed it to be in the margins, in the shadows of our society and our economic and social policy and that does us no credit’. This exchange draws attention to the scope of debates on care policies, to the social, cultural and philosophical issues involved in caring. It provides valuable context for an analysis of policies on unpaid care. Indeed, it suggests that unpaid care is in a particularly perilous situation because with social care policies confined to the margins, unable to

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Introduction This chapter examines the ways in which knowledge about unpaid care has developed over the past three decades. An intriguing question is whether patterns of unpaid care have changed or more information is now available, which sheds new light on long-standing patterns. In addressing this question, further questions arise, including how has knowledge on unpaid care developed over recent decades and to what end? Such questions matter, not only because knowledge is essential to the development of appropriate support for unpaid care but also

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Introduction Women have a marginalised position in the UK social security system. This ongoing disadvantaged position is related to the dominant gendered concept of citizenship, which is based around masculine activities, attributes and interactions with the paid labour market. To create a more inclusive citizenship framework, some feminists have argued that citizenship needs to be redefined to recognise the importance of unpaid care ( Knijn and Kremer, 1997 ; Sevenhuijsen, 2000 ; Tronto, 2001 ; Pateman, 2005 ). This would entail the implementation of

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( Vlachantoni et al, 2015 ; Ilinca et al, 2017 ). Despite substantial unmet need for services, little research has been carried out on the consequences, though population-level studies suggest higher mortality among care recipients as a result of unmet need for health or care services ( Watkins et al, 2017 ). Care services for the person with care needs are often seen as simultaneously a service for the unpaid carer. This is the approach taken in English care policy ( Her Majesty’s Government, 2014 ), in some studies of care services ( Pickard, 2004 ; Rand and Malley, 2014

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); nevertheless, the welfare reforms established a social security system that was based on masculine interactions with the paid labour market ( Lister, 2001 ), which resulted in inferior social security rights for women. For example, there was an assumption that men would undertake paid work and women would be responsible for unpaid care and domestic labour ( Sainsbury, 1996 ; Pascall, 1997 ). While Beveridge described women’s unpaid care as ‘vital work’ ( 1942 , p 53), under the welfare reforms and most notably the National Insurance Act 1946, men made contributions through

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