Social care employers need to support staff who are carers or face problems

Nearly one in five of the workforce are also carers at Hertfordshire Council’s adult care department, delegates at Community Care Live heard today.CC Live logo article

Social care employers must support staff who are carers or face major recruitment and retention issues, said Sarah Pickup, director of adult care services at the authority and Association of Directors of Social Services lead on carers.

Numbers of carers are higher within Hertfordshire’s adult social team than at the authority’s other council departments, perhaps due to a large proportion of older female staff, she added.

Most carers are working and the peak age to acquire caring responsibilities is “between 45 and 55″, said chief executive of Carers UK, Imelda Redmond.

For local authorities to improve services for carers, it is “not necessarily about spending more money” but using existing resources to better meet the needs of carers and the service users they look after, Pickup concluded.

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