Who cares for the family carers of adults and older people?

Hussein S

Social Care Workforce Periodical 2010, 10,


Is there a specific workforce that is equipped to meet carers’ needs? What are the size and characteristics of any such workforce? Where are they located and what are their skills? In this issue of the Social Care Workforce Periodical we aim to address elements of this knowledge gap by investigating available data on the carers’ workforce in England.

Among the 24,301 providers who completed NMDS returns by June 2010, 8.5 percent (n=2064) provide carers’ support as a main or additional service. The analysis reveals an overlap of services to carers of adults and older people highlighting the need for a well-equipped workforce to meet the variety of carers’ needs whatever their client group status. Some lack of job roles’ diversity was reflected by the analysis and this may be a cause for concern, or indeed congratulation, and worth further investigation.

The findings point to a higher prevalence of agency workers among the carers’ workforce, particularly among the private sector when compared to the rest of the workforce; this workforce was also situated, on average, within employers that have considerably higher turnover and vacancy rates than others in adult social care.