The forthcoming census is a great opportunity for users of
social care services.
The question on caring responsibilities should provide detailed
statistics on the number of carers who provide unpaid care and
The government has already recognised the level of support
carers provide to ill, older or disabled people in new legislation
and increased resources. But it may need to gear itself up for
further demands if, as campaigners believe, the census reveals that
the number of carers is higher than the figure of 5.7 million
carers taken from the 1995 Family Household Survey.
The 2001 census also provides the opportunity to analyse the
ethnic minority status and religion of the population of England
and Wales. This has implications for the resources allocated to
social services and health bodies for specific, culturally
Therefore it is essential that social care staff use their role
to ensure that everyone is counted in the poll.