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POLICY-MAKING CONTRIBUTIONS

We are actively involved in making collaborative and joint submissions to the Government and other national/regulatory bodies on various matters. (for example National Carers Strategy, Review of Disability Policy, Census 2011 Consultation, 2013 Pre-Budget Submission).

NATIONAL CARERS WEEK

We have acted as lead organisation in the co-ordination of an annual ‘National Carers Week’ since 2007, with eight national partner organisations. During Carers Week 2012 over 150 events took place throughout the country. Carers Week 2013 takes place between June 10th-16th.

REPRESENTATION

We currently participate on the Consultative Group of the National Centre for the Protection of Older People. By invitation, we prepare an annual pre-budget submission directly to the Minister for Social Protection. We also participate in the annual Carers Consultation Forum. In the recent past (2008/9) we were active on the HSE led committee that devised National Quality Guidelines for Home Care services for Older People. We also provide representation for not-for-profit home care providers on the HSE Home Care Providers Forum.

INFORMATION PROVISION

We source and review international research and reports on issues affecting Family Carers, and share such information electronically on a regular basis with those involved in supporting Family Carers. This includes our member organisations, volunteers and staff working in the NGO sector, HSE staff, academics and policy makers.

RESEARCH

In 2008 we published the first piece of quantitative research in an Irish context looking at the health status of Family Carers. Building on this piece of research in June 2010 we completed and published a qualitative research study in collaboration with the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland entitled 'The Caring reality of Family Carers: An Exploration of the health status of a specific group of Family Carers’. We have also published an overview report on Caring in Ireland, an updated version having been launched in May 2013.

In 2009 we secured funding from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) to undertake research into the post-caring experience. The research was carried out in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and the findings are available here.

In 2009-2011 we engaged in an EU-wide (Grundtvig) project, with four other EU Carer organisations, which  documented the un-certified skills acquired by former Family Carers. One output from the project is a Guidebook for Former Carers. For more details about the entire project see www.lifeaftercare.eu

We are currently partners on another EU wide project on Young Carers (Together for Young Adult Carers). www.youngadultcarers.eu

We are strengthening our relationships with several academic institutions through collaborative joint research bids.

We lead and organise an interagency and multi-disciplinary Family Carer Research Group that meets regularly to discuss the relevant research issues in relation to Family Carers.

NEWSLETTER

We produce a quarterly Newsletter, Care Alliance Exchange, which we distribute widely by electronic means to over 600 individuals/organisations working directly with Family Carers. The newsletter includes sections on National News, Practice Resources, Caring in the News, Members News, Policy Developments, International News, Upcoming Sectoral Conferences/Seminars, Latest Research, Member Profiles, Opinion Pieces and more.

CONFERENCES/SEMINARS

We have organised a range of training and information exchange seminars in recent years. Themes have included:

  • Young Carers
  • Family Carer Training
  • Improving Collaboration between The Carer and Disability Sector
  • The Relationship between Family Carers and Paid Care Workers
  • Home Care Packages
  • Carers' Assessments
  • Carers' Health

MEMBERSHIP OF EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS

We are active members of The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), The Wheel, Eurocarers and the International Alliances of Carer Organisations (IACO). We also work with Boardmatch Ireland.