There are six million unpaid carers in the UK who look after relatives, friends, children or older people who are sick or disabled. The number of carers is growing and the Department for Work and Pensions (the Department) estimates that the number of carers it supports will increase by about a quarter by 2014-15. The nature of care obligations varies. Care may be provided throughout life, during a chronic condition, over distinct periods, or towards the end of a person’s life. Appendix One provides examples of caring responsibilities from our survey of carers.