Support for older carers of older people: the impact of the 2014 Care Act

Liz Lloyd Completed   2018

Introduction

Older people who provide care and support to other older people constitute a valuable resource within the social care system. There are over half a million such carers and this number is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. Currently, support for carers varies between local authorities (LA s) and there are inequalities between carers in the level of support they receive. The 2014 Care Act is intended to open up new approaches to support, to iron out geographical variations and grant new entitlements to carers. However, the implementation of this Act will be difficult and complex, not least because of the economic context. It will depend also on the capacity of local authority staff, including social workers, to adapt their practice and on the success of partnerships between local carer organisations and local authorities.

This research examined the implementation process in selected local authorities. It was designed to capture the perspectives of a range of key individuals involved and the ways in which practices are changing in line with the changes in policy. The research highlighted key factors influencing the process and identified lessons for practice in social work and social care.