The aim of this series is to introduce a topic for thought and debate within the Family Caring sector. In particular, the series focuses on emerging, under-discussed, and perhaps difficult issues, as a way to stimulate debate.
Much of the supports and research undertaken with and about family carers presupposes that family carers in Ireland are white, heterosexual and Catholic. Statistically, that group is indeed the largest cohort of family carers. However, latest figures from Census 2016 illustrates the breadth of diversity within family carers in Ireland. Whilst many of the challenges faced by family carers from minority populations (such as those from ethnic minorities, religious minorities and those from the LGBT community) will be similar to those faced by the general population, each has particular issues acting as further complicating factors – such as racism, homophobia, or perhaps a lack of adequate access to information. Even when the problems faced are the same, the preferred solutions for these groups may not be.
This latest paper in the Care Alliance Discussion Paper series explores these issues and suggests some policy and support changes which may be useful to consider.