Resources to support social work practice with carers

Carers tell us what they want from social workers.

Also viewable online via Adobe Connect

How to use the site

Watch the video or look at the top tips to get an overview of what carers want.

Review your practice against the capabilities for social work with carers.

Use the case studies to explore situations and find information about different topics.

Use the tools in your practice with carers.

Refresh your knowledge of law and policy, social work standards and evidence with the overarching resources.

There are 6.5 million carers in the UK, helping family or friends who need extra support. Social workers give essential advice, information and help to carers. This site was commissioned by the Department of Health and developed by Research in Practice for Adults, in partnership with carers. It provides resources to support social work practice with carers.

The site

This site presents five case studies giving an insight into different types of caring responsibilities, some of the common challenges experienced by carers and guidance for working with carers effectively.

Each case study contains a written and audio overview, sample chronology, assessment and support plan, along with information and tools to put learning into practice.

The overarching resources section features top tips for practice from carers, information about law and policy, links to social work standards and to general resources, and an evidence review.

Tools from the case studies are also found in the tools section.

The professional development section includes resources for trainers, capabilities for social work with carers, and tools to support reflection.

The site was created in 2016 and revised to include additional resources in May 2019.

Overarching resources

These resources provide useful information about social work with carers. The general resources for social work with carers provide links to resources about social work law and practice, in particular assessment and safeguarding. The evidence review of social work practice with adults and carers gives an overview of research. The list of useful sites include ones related to policy, evidence and carers’ developments.

The top tips for practice sets out the important messages from carers for how social workers can best relate to them.

The critical reflection tool can be used to reflect on experiences of working with carers, and to turn these experiences into learning that can be used to improve practice. The action planning tool can be used to identify how learning from practice and from these resources will be transferred into how you work with carers.

There are also blank versions of the tools used for the case studies: chronology, one-page profile, ecogram, carers assessment, young carers assessment and support plan.

Case studies

The five case studies, developed with carers, address five different situations where social work can offer input to carers. Each has information about the situation and case records, and highlights important topics that relate to that situation with relevant resources and tools.

caring for a parent and for a child

supporting a parent with a mental health problem

supporting a partner who is moving into a care home

supporting a partner who has a life-limiting illness

Michelle and Joel:,
supporting an adult child with a learning disability

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