Since the early 1990s government policy has been to support people needing care to live in their own homes as independently as possible. A large amount of care is provided unpaid by family members. Over 600 people aged under 16 are providing unpaid care (see table below), and one-in-five people aged 50 to 64 provide some unpaid care.
Number of people providing unpaid care by age and hours. Source: 2011 Census (rounded).
People who provide informal care may be eligible for benefits in recognition of the care they provide. The number of people claiming Carer’s Allowance has risen steadily over the last ten years (see chart below). In May 2016 the average weekly payment was £62.30.
Source: Department for Work and Pensions.