Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
Today I am pleased to announce the launch of the Strategy for Unpaid Carers which reaffirms our commitment to supporting unpaid carers of all ages and backgrounds in Wales.
The launch marks a year since the start of the first lockdown in Wales. Over the past twelve months, unpaid carers across Wales have coped with their own worries about the virus whilst also caring for a friend or relative, often without the support of their usual networks.
Throughout the pandemic, many of us may have taken on the role of an unpaid carer for the first time and struggled to balance work and leisure time with new or increased caring commitments. I hope that these experiences will raise awareness of all unpaid carers in our communities, from children or young people supporting siblings or parents, to older people caring for a partner, or the legions of neighbours and friends that spend fewer hours caring but still provide vital support to keep people well and safe in their own homes. Not all may need formal support from statutory services, but all deserve our thanks.
We must value unpaid carers acknowledge that they are a fundamental part of Wales’ health and care system. The strategy outlines how we are already supporting unpaid carers in Wales via funding to local authorities to deliver their duty to support unpaid carers under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act; funding to Local Health Boards and Regional Partnership Boards; support for the role out of a National Young Carers ID Card and our Sustainable Social Services Third Sector Grant.
This new strategy represents our renewed commitment to improving the recognition of and support to unpaid carers in Wales. It sets out our revised national priorities for carers and will be followed by a more detailed delivery plan in autumn 2021.
Delivery will be guided by my Ministerial Advisory Group on Unpaid Carers and its supporting engagement group.
Caring is everyone’s business - it is likely that most of us will take on a caring role at some point in our lives. I hope this strategy and supporting delivery plan will guide partnership working towards a society that recognises, values and supports unpaid carers of all ages and backgrounds to live well and achieve their own well-being outcomes.