WQ90247 (e) Wedi’i gyflwyno ar 15/12/2023

Sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwella gwerthfawrogiad diwylliannol gwaith gofalwyr di-dâl?

Wedi'i ateb gan Y Dirprwy Weinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol | Wedi'i ateb ar 02/01/2024

We are investing £1.4 million over five years in the Carer Aware Project, run in partnership by Carers Trust Wales and Carers Wales. The project raises the awareness amongst health and social care professionals about unpaid carers’ rights and the needs of unpaid carers. It provides training for health care practitioners and social workers to recognise and understand the valuable role of unpaid carers. The project has produced good practice guidance for professionals, which is promoted by professional bodies such as Social Care Wales and the British Association of Social Workers.

We are investing £780,000 over three years to Carers Wales to ensure unpaid carers can access the right information and support at the right time, empower unpaid carers to speak with confidence, and shape the services intended for them. This project also supports working unpaid carers and those wishing to return to the workforce to have a life outside caring.

I commissioned a rapid review by the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru of how the rights of unpaid carers are being upheld. This report, published in November 2023, highlighted the need to increase professional recognition of unpaid carers. I have asked the Ministerial Advisory Group for Unpaid Carers to oversee progress against the findings of this report.

The Ministerial Advisory Group, set up in 2018, is comprised of professionals from health and social care, academia, unpaid carers organisations and unpaid carers representatives. The group provides a cross sector response to the challenges unpaid carers face and has a direct impact on our strategy and workstreams to support unpaid carers.

To ensure young carers’ views are heard, I have recently established the Young Carers Advisory Board. This will be a valuable resource to feedback to the Ministerial Advisory Group and input into policy making.

I also recognise the importance of supporting young carers, who more likely than their peers to miss days at school due to the pressures of their caring responsibilities. Welsh Government has provided funding of over £600,000 to support the rollout of a Young Carer ID card, available in all of Wales since April 2022. Aimed at young carers up to 18, it helps young carers identify themselves to teachers and staff in schools, colleges and local health services.

Since 2022 we have invested £6m into the Short Breaks fund, which will enable an additional 30,000 carers to take a break to relax, socialise or pursue activities tailored to their interests. Part of this funding has been used to set up a third sector grant scheme entitled ‘Amser’. Funding has been awarded to 30 organisations covering every local authority.

I welcome the introduction of the Carers’ Leave Act 2023, which will come into force on 6 April 2024. Employees who are providing or arranging care for a relative or dependent will be entitled to one weeks’ unpaid leave per year. My officials will be working closely with our partner organisations to help ensure unpaid carers and employers are aware of this new entitlement. This presents an opportunity for public awareness raising of unpaid carers more generally.