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Carers’ experiences accessing information on supports and services: Learning the social care “dance”

Cities across England will see a growing number of informal carers as the population ages, many of whom do not begin this role equipped with the knowledge they need to access social care services and supports. One of the more significant changes brought by passage of the Care Act of 2014 is local governments’ increased responsibility to improve the provision of information and advice on social care to informal carers, long recognized as a policy priority. To better understand where improvements can be made on a local level in order to achieve the goals laid out in the Care Act, this study considers carers’ experiences accessing information and advice on social care services and supports in a city with a population of over 250,000 in the south of England. This was done through the collection of semi-structure qualitative interviews with 11 carers to people aged 65 and older from April 2015 to July 2015. Thematic analysis of interviews revealed a tension between carers’ varying levels of knowledge and experience with the social care system and information services’ one-size-fits-all approach to providing information. Findings suggest local governments should focus on creating information services that more actively reach out to carers, provide greater guidance to those carers who need it, and work to flexibly meet informal carers information needs, acknowledging that some carers will be less familiar than others with aspects of the social care system.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Sage Publications
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Issue Number
Journal Titles
Qualitative Social Work
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