Resources to support social work practice with carers


Introductory video featuring the voices of carers.

Also viewable online via Adobe Connect


A walk-through of the resources on this site.

Also viewable online via Adobe Connect

There are 6.5 million carers in the UK looking after someone who is older, disabled or unwell, and both the Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 (section 96) have placed new expectations on the provision of support for this unpaid workforce.

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

The overarching resources section features an evidence review of social work practice with adults and carers, information on relevant policy and law, general resources and top tips to strengthen social work with carers. There is also a library of tools to support different areas of practice.

This site was commissioned by the Department of Health and developed by Research in Practice for Adults, in partnership with carers. The resources have been mapped against the requirements of the Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS) and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).

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.

Case study 1: Sandwich carer,
caring for a parent and for a child

Case study 2: Young carer,
supporting a parent with a mental health problem

Case study 3: Partner carer,
supporting a partner who is moving into a care home

Case study 4: Partner carer,
supporting a partner who has a life-limiting illness

Case study 5: Parent carers,
supporting an adult child with a learning disability

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