My Department is responsible for coordinating the cross-departmental 2012 National Carers’ Strategy, which sets the strategic direction for future policies, services and supports provided by Government Departments and agencies for family carers. The Strategy contains actions to recognise, support and empower carers to manage their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing across four national goals:
- Recognise the value and contribution of carers and promote their inclusion in decisions relating to the person they are caring for;
- Support carers to manage their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing;
- Support carers to care with confidence through the provision of adequate information, training, services and supports;
- Empower carers to participate as fully as possible in economic and social life.
The Programme for Government commits to reviewing and updating the National Carers' Strategy. As an initial step in engaging with key stakeholders in relation to this process, my colleague, the Minister for Mental Health and Older People recently held a roundtable in my Department to hear directly from family carers about their experience of caring, in particular, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.