Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (212, 213)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

212. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her Department has compiled data on young carers here; if so, if the data will be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24707/19]

View answer

Willie O'Dea

Question:

213. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons aged 15 to 18 years of age who are considered carers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24708/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 212 and 213 together.

The Government acknowledges the crucial role that family carers play and is fully committed to supporting carers in that role through a range of supports and services.  This commitment is recognised in both the Programme for Government and the National Carers’ Strategy.

The main income supports to carers provided by my Department are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and the Carer’s Support Grant.  A principal condition for the receipt of these income supports is that the carer is in a position to provide full-time care and attention to a person in need of such full-time care.  A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for Carer's Allowance.  It should be noted, however, that Carer’s Benefit  and the Carer's Support Grant may be applied for from the age of 16 years.  A carer under 18 may also apply for Domiciliary Care Allowance in respect of caring for a child who meets the conditions of that scheme.

Accordingly, data for carers aged under 18 is only available for those who claim Carer's Benefit. The youngest carer in receipt of Carer’s Benefit as of May 2019 is aged 22.

Data for carers aged under 25 who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit  is provided in the tabular statement overleaf.  

Age breakdowns for those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance is currently published on an annual basis in the Statistical information of Social Welfare Services Report. The number of carer’s aged under 25 for the years 2014 – 2018 are provided in the tabular statement overleaf. 

 Apart from the income supports available, last December I also approved funding of €1.763 million to provide a range of training and supports for family carers for 13 projects under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2018.  The funded projects provide structured training, information and support networks under the theme of personal and social development for family carers, including young carers.

 In order to stay informed of, and assess, priorities within the sector, my Department actively engages with carers’ representative groups.  As part of its commitments under the National Carer's Strategy , which is lead by the Department of Health, my Department hosts the Annual Carers Forum.  The most recent Forum was held in May this year and featured a dedicated discussion group on "Supports for Young Carers" and attendees included a number of individual young carers as well as carer representative groups.  Tusla - the Child and Family Agency who co-facilitated this group along with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, also offer a number of family and support services for young carers nationwide including the Family Support and Meitheal programmes.

Age 

Carer's Benefit Recipients (May 2019) 

Carer's Allowance Recipients  (May 2019)

 16

 0

 -

 17

 0

 18

 0

 19

 0

 47

 20

 0

 101

 21

 0

 133

 22

 1

 171

 23

 0

 229

 24

 0

 245

 Total under 25

 1

 935

Carer's Allowance

 Age

 December 2014

 December 2015

December 2016 

December 2017 

December 2018 

 18

 5

10 

11 

10 

 19

 31

26 

50 

53 

62 

 20

 44

58 

65 

96 

84 

 21

 72

69 

104 

109 

135 

 22

 140

119 

123 

150 

150 

 23

 148

 182

185 

 185

213 

 24

 189

 209

 261

 244

 242

 Total under 25

 629

668 

 798

848 

 896