We are actively involved in making collaborative and joint submissions to the Government and other national/regulatory bodies on various matters. (for example The Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality, Review of Disability Policy, Census 2027 Consultation and numerous Pre-Budget Submissions).
NATIONAL CARERS WEEK
We have acted as lead organisation in the co-ordination of an annual ‘National Carers Week’ since 2007, with ten other national partner organisations. We also manage a large Facebook page National Carers Week, that is active throughout the year.
We currently participate on a range of bodies including, the National Patient Forum, the Social Policy Network, the Citizens Assembly Constitutional Change Working Group, the DFI Health Advisory Forum the DFI Policy Officers Forum and Age Alliance (HSE led). By invitation, we prepare an annual pre-budget submission directly to the Minister for Social Protection. We also participate in the annual Carers Consultation Forum. We also collaborate with other NGO's in the area of home care regulation, via the Home Care Coalition.
We source and review international research and reports on issues affecting family carers, and share such information electronically on a regular basis with those involved in supporting family carers. This includes our member organisations, volunteers and staff working in the NGO sector, HSE staff, academics, researchers and policy makers.
We also have a Wakelet page that collates research and news on carers issues.
We have created an Infographic that provides some useful figures on family caring in Ireland.
ONLINE FAMILY CARER SUPPORT GROUP
Due to Covid-19, which resulted in the curtailment of many support services, in March 2020, we set up the Online Family Carer Support Group. The moderated support group, currently supports over 4,800 family carers and is delivered through the Facebook platform, in a closed/private group format. Open to all family carers living in the Republic of Ireland, this online private group is being facilitated by a number of professionals with social work and counselling qualifications, moderation experience and is being supported by a number of former and current family carers. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyCarerOnlineSupportGroupIreland
re-emerge - the next chapter is for you.
Supported by Pobal and the Department of Social Protection, Re-emerge aims to support family carers with their transitions back to paid employment. This will involve focusing on the carers emotional, physical and mental well-being along with the practical training required. The project is managed remotely by a team of two. This project builds on previous employment ready projects and began in January 2023, and is scheduled to run until the end of May 2024. For more information see https://www.carealliance.ie/Reemerge
We have been publishing family carer related publications for over 15 years. In 2008 we published the first piece of quantitative research in an Irish context looking at the health status of family carers. This was followed in 2010 by the publication of 'The Caring reality of Family Carers: An Exploration of the health status of a specific group of Family Carers’. We have also delivered collaborative primary research in the area of former carers and a guidebook for Former Carers.
Since October 2015, we have published twelve papers in our Discussion Paper series, which focuses on lesser known or discussed topics related to family caring, such as The Challenges and Opportunities facing Rural Carers in Ireland. Alongside this, we also have a Briefing & Position Paper series which aims to stimulate debate and critical thinking within the family carer, disability and wider health and social care sectors.
Other research projects and publications include 'Towards Resilience in Family Caregiving for People with Dementia' project.
We continue to strengthen our relationships with several academic institutions through collaborative joint research bids.
We lead and organise an interagency and multi-disciplinary Family Carer Research Group that meets regularly to discuss the relevant research issues in relation to Family Carers.
We produce a regular Newsletter, Care Alliance Exchange, which we distribute widely by electronic means to over 700 individuals/organisations working directly with family carers.
We have organised a range of training and information exchange seminars in recent years. Themes have included:
- Young Carers
- Family Carer Training
- Improving Collaboration between The Carer and Disability Sector
- The Relationship between Family Carers and Paid Care Workers
- Home Care Packages
- Carers' Assessments
- Carers' Health
Since 2015 we have organised and hosted three bi-annual international conferences.
MEMBERSHIP OF EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS
We are active members of The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), The Wheel, and Eurocarers.