Review of Local Authorities’ Use of Carers Grant

Commissioned by the Department of Health, this project reported on a study of local authorities in England, designed to review what use they had made of their Carers Grant budget (an annual sum made available to support the provision of services for carers) in the years 2004-06.

The study involved a questionnaire requesting key documents relating to Carers Grant and a number of telephone interviews with Carers Lead Officers employed by local authorities.

In a second phase, the original study (conducted in 2007-08) was extended to try to capture information from those local authorities which had not responded to the original call for documentation.

The project was completed in April 2009 and a full report has been made available to the Department of Health.

Key findings

  • Carers Grant has been crucial for many local authorities in enabling them to develop and deliver services for carers in flexible and innovative ways.
  • Carers Grant has been an effective mechanism in some localities for promoting partnership working between local authorities, voluntary organisations, PCTs and other health bodies.
  • The short term nature of Carers Grant funding had created some problems with staff retention and the longevity of pump-primed projects; lack of financial ring-fencing remains an ongoing concern.
  • There are particular challenges in reaching carers in certain groups (Black and Minority Ethnic, those combining work and care, and some other groups).

Project Publications

Local Authorities Use of Carers’ Grant report