Suffolk County Council launch All Age Carers’ Strategy

Published

Suffolk County Council has launched its All-Age Carers’ Strategy at today’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

The strategy which has been developed with young carers and adult carers across Suffolk aims to support carers across Suffolk in their roles and will lead to the development of an action plan in the coming months.

This will help SCC to provide carers with the right kind of quality support at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way.

Many carers do not identify themselves as carers for approaching 2 years - they are reluctant to do so - therefore a key goal within this strategy is to reduce this timeframe and help them access the support they need. The five key priorities are;

  1. Early identification of carers
  2. Improved information and advice
  3. Young carers to have the same priority as adult carers
  4. Systems and services that work for and support all carers
  5. Improved health and well-being for carer

An action plan will be developed in the coming months which will provide more detail how the priorities will be delivered and raise the profile of carers in Suffolk.

Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“The work of unpaid and family carers must be better understood and supported, and the new All Age Carers’ Strategy will certainly help to do that.

“Unpaid family carers play an essential role in our society. Their compassion, dedication, and selfless commitment to those they care for is both humbling and in many ways essential to the wider care market.”

Councillor James Reeder, Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services said:

“It is a source of great pride for me that for the first time Suffolk has an All Age Carers’ Strategy which includes the incredible contribution of young people and children who care regularly for family members.

"I have no doubt that this strategy will help to support young people in their caring roles. They will be seen as children first and carers second and I am hopeful that with early recognition of their caring roles through schools, and other institutions, they will be able to access the support they need to continue to care safely, whilst also reaching their full potential and aspirations.”

In 2020, research from Carers UK indicated that there were 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK, which is estimated to have saved the country in the region of £193 Billion during the COVID-19 pandemic alone. In the 2011 census, 17,194 carers in Suffolk said they provided 50+ hours of care per week.

Currently, about 1 in 5 people living in Suffolk are aged 65 or over. It is estimated that over the next 20 years, this is forecast to change, with 1 in 3 Suffolk residents being aged 65 or over, compared to 1 in 4 for England.

Projections also suggest that the number of people aged 65 and over who provide unpaid care in Suffolk will increase between 2019 and 2035, from 25,300 to 33,700 (an increase of 33%).

Read the Suffolk All Age Carer's Strategy 2022-2027.