Recommendation ID

What is the effectiveness of personal health and social care budgets in supporting carers to return to work, education or training?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why the committee made the recommendations
The Care Act 2014 mandates providing information for carers on work, education and training, and the committee used a combination of evidence and expert consensus to build on that legal requirement. There was some evidence that a lack of information and advice, combined with the fragmented nature of local support services, often acted as barriers to carers remaining in, returning to or entering work, education and training. The committee agreed it was important to make widely available person-centred advice and information specifically for carers. This was supported by evidence that carers welcomed advice and information from practitioners who understood the particular challenges they face in combining work and caring, including associated benefits and welfare advice. One way that the committee proposed services may do this is by designating a 'carer champion' to offer expert advice when needed and to assist in training other practitioners working in the service about carers' needs and rights under the Care Act 2014.
There was some limited evidence showing the disadvantages experienced by young adult carers striving to balance work or education with caring. The committee also noted the difficulties often experienced by older carers wishing to retain or return to employment after the end of their caring roles. They agreed that carers may lack confidence about finding work, especially if they have spent years caring at the expense of education or training. They agreed by consensus that it was relevant for all carers to be encouraged to recognise their value to employers using the skills they have built up during caring.
There was a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of particular tools or approaches for supporting carers to return to work, education or training. Supported by expert testimony, the committee agreed that there was potential in further exploring whether the use of personal budgets, either for the person being cared for or the carer in their own right, might have positive outcomes for the carer. So the committee agreed to make a research recommendation about the effectiveness of personal health and social care budgets in supporting carers to return to work, education or training (see research recommendation 2).

How the recommendations might affect practice
These recommendations reinforce legislation and should help to improve consistency of best practice. Changes needed to current practice will depend on the availability of carers' work-related support services in each area. Providing tailored advice of this kind may require some additional local investment, but this would be offset by substantial benefits for carers from being supported to continue working or learning alongside caring, leading to cost savings in the long term.
Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in evidence review D: work, education and training. Other supporting evidence and discussion can be found in evidence review A: identifying carers as defined by the Care Act 2014.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Supporting adult carers
Date issued
January 2020

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/01/2020