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Agenda Item No. 5


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Health Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee: 16th April 2018


Report of the Director of Social Services


Support for Carers in the Vale of Glamorgan


Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Scrutiny Committee on support services for carers.


  1. That Scrutiny Committee notes the work undertaken to support carers in the Vale of Glamorgan.
  2. That Scrutiny Committee refers the report to Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee to note the work in respect of young carers.
  3. That Scrutiny Committee recognises the importance of supporting carers.
  4. That Scrutiny Committee is aware of the duties of the Council and its partners in regards to delivering services for Carers within the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure that Members continue to exercise effective oversight of this important function undertaken by the Social Services Directorate.
  2. At the request of Learning & Culture Scrutiny Committee to receive an update report on young carers on an annual basis.
  3. To make Scrutiny members aware of the value of carers.
  4. That Scrutiny members are aware of the duties outlined within legislation.


  1. Carers provide unpaid help on a regular basis, to a relative, neighbour or friend who is unable to manage at home due to long term illness, age or disability.
  2. Carers can be adults caring for other adults, parents caring for children who are ill or have a disability or young carers under 18 years caring for, or involved in the care of, a parent, sibling, relative or friend.  Carers aged 18 to 25 are often referred to as young adult carers.
  3. Some carers do not call themselves carers but see themselves as wife or husband, mother or father, partner, grandparent, child, friend or neighbour.  There can be multiple carers who care as part of a family or community network.  At times, because of the nature of the illness, a carer may not be recognised as a carer by the person he or she is providing care to.
  4. The need for care can happen in various ways.  It can increase gradually as a result of a progressive medical condition, or growing older and becoming frail.  It can also happen suddenly, for instance, as a result of an accident or stroke.
  5. Parent carers are most likely to be caring the longest.  The responsibilities may be even greater in the situation of a carer who is a sole parent who has more than one person to care for, or if the carer themselves is disabled.
  6. For young carers, their day to day responsibilities often include: cooking, cleaning, shopping, providing nursing and personal care, giving emotional support.  With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn.  Many struggle educationally and are often bullied for being 'different'.  They can become isolated, with no relief from the pressures at home, and no chance to enjoy a normal childhood.  They are often afraid to ask for help as they fear letting the family down or being taken into care.
  7. Carers Trust conducted an on-line survey with young carers in 2010 in which 68.5% (467) of respondents stated they had been or are bullied at school.
  8. In research carried out by Dr Joe Sempik and Professor Saul Becker (University of Nottingham) entitled "Young Adult Carers at School: Experiences and Perceptions of Caring and Education 2013", discovered that over a two week snapshot, the average time lost was half a day and on average respondents were late 1.4 times and had to leave early on 6% of days.
  9. It was noted that although attendance of many young carers was not affected in this snapshot, due to the course of parental / sibling illness and disability over a longer period many more young carers may experience lateness, or absence from schools because of their caring role.
  10. Key Findings from the Young Carers Speak Out! Report locally identified that:
      • Only 35% of young carers felt that teachers were 'good' at recognising their responsibilities.
      • 57% of young carer reported that they were never or only sometimes give the right support at school.
      • Only 20% of young carers said that they could access information about being a young carers through school.
  1. The Social Services and Wellbeing Act, for the first time gives all carers the same rights as those they care for.  Regardless of their age, all carers have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer.
  2. The assessment must include the extent to which the carer is able and willing to provide care, as well as the outcomes the carer (and the person with parental responsibility for them in the case of young carers) wish to achieve.  This must include the carer's needs in relation to leisure, training or work.  It will also consider the extent to which support, preventative services, or the provision of information, advice or assistance could assist in achieving the identified outcomes for both the carer and the service user.
  3. If the assessment determines that a carer's needs are eligible for support then the local authority must consider what can be done to meet those needs.
  4. If the carer is a child, the assessment must have regard to his or her developmental needs and the extent to which it is appropriate for him or her to provide the care.
  5. If the carer is a young adult aged between 16 and 25 the assessment must include an assessment of any current or future transitions the carer may make into further or higher education, employment or training opportunities.  The assessment must have due regard to what the young adult carer wishes to participate in, and their outcomes.
  6. The local authority has a duty to provide a range of preventative services which seek to promote the wellbeing of carers who need support.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In the State of Caring Report 2017, from Carers Wales, the estimated value of unpaid care in Wales was £8.1billion, while the value of health spending in Wales was £6.85billion.  With an ageing population, it is inevitable that local authorities across Wales will need care from families and friends in the future to grow.  To care safely and maintain their own physical and mental health and well-being, carers need information, support, respect and recognition from the professionals with whom they are in contact.  Improved support for the person being cared for can make the carer's role more manageable.
  2. Carers need support to be able to manage the demands of their work and caring roles, or to return to work if they have lost employment due to caring.
  3. A diverse, flexible and wide range of services and support are required to both meet our statutory responsibility in relation to carers and support the sustainability of the invaluable care they provide to our communities.  Carers are the largest source of care and support in all regions of the UK.  It is in everyone's interest that they are supported effectively.
  4. In order to assist in ensuring that the enhanced rights for carers are recognised and actively delivered upon, the Welsh Government has established three national priorities:
      • Supporting life alongside caring - All carers must have reasonable breaks from their caring role to enable them to maintain their capacity to care, and to have a life beyond caring.
      • Identifying and recognising carers - Fundamental to the success of delivering improved outcomes for carers is the need to improve carer's recognition of their role and to ensure they can access the necessary support.
      • Providing information, advice and assistance - It is important that carers receive the appropriate information and advice where and when they need it.
  1. The ways in which the Council has responded to the requirements of the new Act and the three national priorities are summarised in Appendix A.
  2. Transitional funding to support carers under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 has been received from the Welsh Government for 2017/18 and has been used to fund the third sector to deliver on a number of priorities as detailed in Appendix A.
  3. The Integrated Care Fund (ICF) is a mechanism to support delivery of the requirements of the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014, provided by Welsh Government.
  4. Regional Partnership Boards must utilise the ICF to support schemes and activities that provide an effective integrated and collaborative approach in relation to four regional partnership board priority areas for integration, one of which is "carers, including young carers".
  5. The ICF guidance is currently being amended to include requirements for all partners to work together to deliver improved and sustainable outcomes for carers against the three national priorities.  The ICF must be used to fund innovative work targeted at these priorities to ensure projects make a meaningful difference to carers' lives, particularly in relation to respite.
  6. A Carers Respite Grant, made available by Welsh Government, is being used both to develop new approaches to respite care based on the needs of carers and to provide additional respite care.
  7. A dedicated workstream for Carers continues to provide oversight and governance for the funding streams and statutory duties outlined above.  It also ensures that services and support are delivered in partnership across the region.  This workstream reports through to the Regional Partnership Board, via the officers Regional Steering Group.  This Regional Steering Group is in place across the two local authority areas to oversee the implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) .Act 2014.
  8. This work stream will inform the ongoing development and delivery of promoting and meeting the needs of carers (including young carers) and will support the process and practice changes required to enable their development across the region.  It will enable the region to comply with the associated relevant duties of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales)Act, 2014:

Part 2: General Functions & Overarching Duties;

Part 3: Assessing the needs of individuals;

Part 4: Meeting needs.

  1. The Vale of Glamorgan is a member of the Carers Officers Learning and Information Network(COLIN) which is a collective of carers workers who work together to share information and practice and link with Welsh Government to provide a collective voice for carers services across local authorities in Wales.
  2. Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) continues to support a Carers Services Information and Network Group (CSING) to provide a similar voice for carers locally. This group includes statutory and third sector membership.
  3. A Young Carers Task Group continues to meet to implement actions identified as a direct result of consultation with young people which was published in April 2016 (Young Carers 'Speak out' report - attached at Appendix B for reference) and reported to Members in Scrutiny Committee in February 2017.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan UHB have received £123,881 from Welsh Government for the financial year 2017/18 on behalf of the Region, with £10,776 of this funding ring fenced specifically for young carers.
  2. Confirmation has been received that this Transitional funding for 2018/19 for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan will be maintained at the same rate as for 2017/18.
  3. The Young Carers Project is a joint funded project between Families First and Social Services.  Families First will contribute £40,000 per year until March 2021 and an additional £10,000 is being made available from the carers services budget in Social Services.
  4. Welsh Government provided monies for a Carers Respite Grant Funding of £111,183 has been awarded to the Vale of Glamorgan for 2017/18.  Confirmation has been received that the same funding will be provided in 2018/19 via the Revenue Support Grant.  We would like to continue to ring fence this money for Carers respite despite this now being included as core funding.
  5. Support and Services which are not Grant Funded are provided for via the core Carers Services Budget totalling £295,655.00 which funds staffing including a part time Carer's Development Officer, part time carers administrative support and Carers Support Officers aligned to each of our client groups and located within each of our care management teams.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability and climate change implications as a direct result of this Report

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 introduced new rights and entitlements for carers in Wales.  It introduced a broader definition of a carer and placed stronger duties on local authorities to identify, assess and support carers.  The Act means that:
      • The definition of a carer is broader and includes more people, that means that more carers are entitled to carer's assessments and support plans;
      • Carers are entitled to an equal right to be assessed for support as those for whom they care;
      • Carers no longer have to request an assessment, local authorities must actively offer assessments where they believe a carer has a need for support;
      • Staff must promote the well-being of carers who need support;
      • Local authorities must assess the needs of carers in their area and submit a plan to Ministers on how they will meet these needs;
      • A carer now has a right to support from the local authority when they meet the eligibility criteria;
      • There is a greater focus on the role of local third sector organisations in providing services and support.
  1. Included in the Act is the continuation of the requirement on the NHS and Local Authorities in Wales to co-operate in relation to the delivery of preventative services, unless this is incompatible with their own duties.  It also requires regional partnerships to ensure information, advice and assistance is offered across the region in a manner which is accessible and suits the needs of their population.
  2. The United Nations Convention and the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) have relevance to a child as young carer.  Article 3 includes the provision that in all actions concerning children by public or private social welfare institutions etc. the best interests of the child should be of primary consideration.  Article 12 makes provision for ensuring that the child's views are expressed freely and given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.  There are other Articles which relate to the rights of the child.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct crime and disorder implications as the result of developing these services, although their preventative nature is likely to have a positive impact on children, young people and families. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The Equality Act 2010 protects carers of disabled people 'by association': i.e. if they experience discrimination because of their links to a disabled person.  The Council recognises this and it is satisfied that no specific equal opportunities issues arise as a consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The work outlined in this report addresses the following corporate objectives outlined in the Corporate Plan 2016-2020.  Key objectives of the Council set out in the Corporate Plan 2016-20 and addressed by this report are:
  • Wellbeing Outcome 4: An Active and Healthy Vale

Objective 1: Reducing Poverty and Social Exclusion:

"Align relevant activities associated with Families First, Flying Start, Communities First and Supporting People programmes to maximised opportunities across all programmes".

Objective 8 : Safeguarding those who are vulnerable and promoting independent living.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The requirement for local authorities to assess the population needs for care and support of its citizens, includes carers.  The Local Authority and local health board have produced an evidence base which includes consultation with a range of carers organisations, professionals and carers, outlining carer's needs and published this in their Population Plan.
  2. The Carers Partnership Group, who commissioned the services provided via the Carers Transitional Grant, consists of officers from Social Services, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Third Sector and carers.  The group has responsibility for delivering the actions detailed in the Carers Information and Consultation Strategy and carried out consultation with carers and young carers to inform service delivery utilising Transitional Funding.
  3. The Families First Management Board allocates the Families First grant in line with the priorities of the Community Strategy and Welsh Government grant criteria.  The Board comprises officers and representatives from Education, Social Services, Health and the voluntary sector. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care

Background Papers

Carers Trust - Carers at school: Experiences and Perceptions of Caring and Education 2013

Scrutiny Committee 13th February 2017 - Young Carers: Annual Update

Contact Officer

Suzanne Clifton, Head of Adult Services and Locality Manager

Officers Consulted

Rachel Evans, Head of Children and Young People's Services

Mark Davies, Children and Young Peoples Prevention and Partnerships Manager

Responsible Officer:

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services