Informal or unpaid care is a key building block of current community care policy in the UK. There is considerable policy interest at present in unpaid care and employment in England.
A key aim of the informal care research cluster is to undertake analyses of unpaid care and employment. The 'Overcoming Barriers' project is focusing on the potential role of 'replacement care' for the cared-for person in supporting working carers to remain in employment.
In addition, PSSRU at the University of Kent and at LSE are currently working on a joint project using recent survey evidence about unpaid carers to examine its implications for social care practice in England.
Research also continues on demand for and supply of informal care for adults, particularly older people, now and in future years. PSSRU at LSE is currently undertaking an analysis of the future supply of informal care in Europe.
Cluster lead: Dr Linda Pickard
Research team: Professor Martin Knapp. Dr Derek King
Overcoming Barriers: Unpaid Care and Employment in England
This project has two strands. First, it is examining the effectiveness of formal social care for the cared-for person as a means of supporting carers in employment. Second, the project is identifying demand for social care support by working carers not in receipt of formal care, and the costs of meeting it. The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research (SSCR) until April 2014. The project builds on a scoping study, carried out in 2011, summarised in the project outline below.
View scoping study Project Outline (PDF)
Recent Survey Evidence about Unpaid Carers: Implications for Social Care Practice in England
This project aims to provide recommendations for councils about identifying and supporting unpaid carers and how they can use and interpret data from carer experience surveys to improve practice. The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research (SSCR) until early 2013. It is being carried out jointly by the PSSRU at the University of Kent and at LSE.
ANCIEN (Assessing Needs of Care in European Nations): Workpackages 3 and 6
This project is undertaking an analysis of the supply of informal care in Europe. The research is part of the ANCIEN project, which is concerned with the future of long-term care for older people in Europe and is funded under the 7th European Union (EU) Framework Programme.
Further information (website)
Recently completed projects
Long-term Care Projections Project: Future Supply of Informal Care and Employment
This project aimed to make projections of the future supply of informal care and link these projections to the future supply of the long-term care workforce. The research was part of the Long-Term Care Projections programme.
Final report (PDF)
Modelling Needs and Resources of Older People to 2030: Informal (Unpaid ) Care research at PSSRU
This purpose of this study was to project up to 2030 the numbers, family circumstances, income, pensions savings, disability and care needs (formal and informal) of older people, the key determinants of their resources and needs.
Further information (PDF)
Developing Improved Survey Questions on Older People's Receipt of and Payment for Formal and Informal Care (Care Questions Study)
This project, funded by the Department of Health (DH) and Nuffield Foundation, aimed to develop improved questions to be used in surveys concerning older people's receipt and provision of informal care.
Further information: care question study
Disabled Adults who Receive Care from Children and Young People
This project estimated the numbers of disabled adults who receive informal care from children and young people and was produced for the Department of Health to feed into the 2009 Green Paper on social care.
(Final Report not publicly available)
Informal Care for Younger Adults in England: Current Provision and Issues in Future Supply, England 2005-2041
This project compared the future supply of informal care to demand for informal care from younger adults (aged 18-64)
View Final Report (PDF).
Unpaid Care and the Family
This project analysed unpaid care and the family using information from the 2001 Census for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Report, Focus on the Family.
View Unpaid Care and the Family, in ONS MSTR Volume on the Family here.
Caring for Older People and Employment
This project reviewed the literature on caring for older people and employment, with a particular focus on the public sector, for the Audit Commission.
View Final Report
The Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Services for Informal Carers of Older People: Research Outline
This project produced a summary of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of services for informal carers of older people for Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA).
View Final Report
The Effectiveness of and Cost-Effectiveness of Support and Services to Informal Carers of Older People
This project reviewed the literature on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of support and services to informal carers of older people in England and Wales, for the Audit Commission.
View Final Report