To articulate the challenges unpaidcarers face in contemporary Wales.
To explore the implications of Welsh legislation and policy for unpaidcarers.
To suggest a way forward for social workers in Wales to develop practice in support of unpaidcarers.
Under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (SSWWA), an unpaidcarer 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
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.
In this chapter the discussion focuses on key policies on unpaidcare since the 1990s, including those that are specifically about support for carers and others of direct relevance to unpaidcare. 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
unpaidcarers and adult social care
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 unpaidcarers 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 unpaidcarers. It considers developments with
regard to carers’ rights and entitlements and examines the financial implications
most paid community-based support services such as personal care and homemaking. However, beyond these categories of paid workers exists another, largely uncharted, health human resource universe: untrained, unregulated and mostly invisible unpaid informal carers – the family, friends and neighbours who provide the bulk of everyday care required to support the wellbeing and independence of persons of all ages with ongoing health and social needs in community settings. As Lilly (2011 ) has commented, if paid health providers constitute the visible tip of the health
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 unpaidcare. Indeed, it suggests that unpaidcare is in a particularly perilous situation because with social care policies confined to the margins, unable to
This chapter examines the ways in which knowledge about unpaidcare has developed over the past three decades. An intriguing question is whether patterns of unpaidcare 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 unpaidcare developed over recent decades and to what end? Such questions matter, not only because knowledge is essential to the development of appropriate support for unpaidcare but also
In this chapter we compare and analyse relationships between staff and the families of residents in Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish care homes. As we know from Chapter 1 , care homes differ considerably in size, staffing levels and organisation of the daily work. These contextual differences shape the scope and need for families’ unpaid work and how families are perceived by staff. We base our analysis on 65 interviews conducted between 2018 and 2019 with frontline staff and managers and on fieldnotes from studying eight care homes.
The models of care in the
( 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 unpaidcarer. 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
In this chapter, we show how state policies and the structural features of formal care systems in Sweden and Ontario, Canada, shape family members’ unpaidcare work for relatives in the lead-up to admission to a nursing home. This unpaid work includes the navigation and advocacy work required to seek, apply for and enter nursing home care. We also show how the entry of their relatives to nursing home care changes family members’ unpaidcare work in these two jurisdictions.
Sweden and Canada represent two social policy approaches to long-term care: a universal