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Informal carers

Auteur(s) :  Niamh Foley, Andy Powell, Harriet Clark, Patrick Brione, Steven Kennedy, Tom Powell, Nerys Roberts, Rachael Harker, Brigid Francis-Devine, David Foster

Editeur(s) :  House of Commons Library

Date :  06/2022


The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has described an informal/unpaid carer (PDF) as: “…someone who provides unpaid help to a friend or family member needing support, perhaps due to illness, older age, disability, a mental health condition or an addiction”, as long as they are not employed to do so.
How many carers are there?

The Family Resources Survey estimated that in 2020/21 around 6% of the UK population (4.2 million people) were providing informal care. The survey defines informal caring as care that is not a paid job, and can occur for many, or only a few, hours a week. Since 2009/10, around 60% of informal carers are women.

The Family Resources Survey does not provide detailed information on young carers. However, Census data provides some information. The 2011 Census found that there were 491,000 carers aged 24 or younger in the UK, an increase of around 87,000 since 2001. A 2013 report from the Children’s Society (PDF) found young carers were 1.5 times more likely to be from “black, Asian or minority ethnic communities”.

The NHS has acknowledged the “vital contribution” of carers, saying it was “critical and underappreciated … not only to loved ones, neighbours and friends, but to the very sustainability of the NHS in England”.

1 Who provides informal care?
2 Carers’ employment, incomes, and earnings
2.1 Statistics on employment, incomes, and poverty
2.2 Carers’ employment rights
2.3 Employment Support for Carers

3 Benefits
3.1 Carer’s Allowance
3.2 Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension
3.3 Working and claiming Carer’s Allowance
3.4 Carer’s Allowance overpayments
3.5 Studying and claiming Carer’s Allowance
3.6 Carers and Universal Credit
3.7 Carer’s Allowance in devolved nations
3.8 Coronavirus and carers’ benefits

4 Young carers
4.1 How many young carers are there?
4.2 The lives of young carers
4.3 Support for young carers in England
4.4 Benefits for young carers
4.5 Participation and attainment in education
4.6 Support in education

5 Carers’ health and wellbeing
5.1 Access to health services
5.2 Sharing patient information with carers and involvement in care

6 Local authority support for carers
6.1 Local authority carer’s assessments
6.2 Respite care
6.3 Parent carers of disabled children
6.4 Parent carer’s needs assessments
6.5 Short breaks

7 Past and future Government policy
7.1 2016 consultation on a National Carers Strategy
7.2 Carers Action Plan 2018–2020
7.3 Reform of adult social care
7.4 Carers’ benefits

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mot(s) clé(s) :  santé, vie des élèves / étudiants