Experts fear that budget cuts could lead to tougher times for carers as councils seek to claw back savings, Community Care LIVE heard today.
Councils are readying themselves for cuts of 25% across the board over the coming years, Graeme Betts, joint lead on carers at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, told the conference.
Alex Fox, director of policy and communications at the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said services for carers could be at risk.
He told Community Care LIVE: “There’s a huge risk that things will get worse for carers because carers’ services are commissioned from the third sector and we know those are easier to cancel rather than sacking social workers.”
To address the issue, the trust and Adass have produced two papers identifying good practice for councils in improving outcomes for carers, on promoting early intervention and improving commissioning in carers services.
They address issues including allowing carers to stay in employment and improving support to delay service users entering residential care, thereby saving money.
The conference also heard from Kim Crosby, who began caring for her mother when she was aged 11 and is now chair of the Carers Action Steering Group, Carers Network Westminster.
In a speech entitled ‘Do you care?’, she stressed professionals’ key focus should be helping carers avoid crisis, by providing practical, psychological and financial support.