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.
The Programme for Government commits to reviewing and updating the National Carers' Strategy. In the coming months, my Department will undertake work to determine the best approach to the Strategy update, including through liaison with other Government Departments to identify actions that can be included in an updated Strategy. As an initial step in engaging with key stakeholders in relation to this process, my colleague Mary Butler T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, recently held a roundtable meeting to hear directly from family carers about their experience of caring, in particular, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Family carers provide selfless and dedicated care to their loved ones, and the Government recognises that the caring role can be challenging, particularly in the current circumstances. My Department secured €2 million in Budget 2021 for the National Carers' Strategy, which will be used to provide a more a standard package of supports to family carers in every region to enable them to continue caring with confidence. The specific measures to be introduced will be determined in the National Service Planning process through service level agreements between the HSE and relevant service providers.