We are pleased with a commitment to extra investment in social care services, particularly recognising that social care staff deserve a decent living wage, and support for pre-implementation of the new carers' legislation.
However, the investment may not be enough to counteract the huge cuts that have affected social care in recent years.
Carers and their families who are in need of support but aren't assessed as having eligible needs risk missing out on preventative support – local authorities and health boards must commit this extra investment to fund the vital services provided by carers' centres and other carer support services.
Recognising carers' expert role in care provision
It remains important that carers do benefit from these financial commitments.
Too often we hear that carers are not treated as equal partners in care by health and social care services.
Their role in recovery and supporting the cared-for person is important and it is vital for carers to access support in their own right.
Ensuring that integrated budgets and services do lead to seamless, integrated care and support, particularly at key points for carer involvement like hospital discharge, will require recognition of carers' expert role in care provision as well as support for their caring role.
Importance of supporting young carers
Young carers may benefit from the £120m for schools to close the attainment gap. However, identifying young carers in educational settings remains challenging.
Young carers who are due to leave school and move into further or higher education or employment can be particularly vulnerable; juggling their caring roles alongside school pressures and transitions in other parts of their life is a risk to realising their full potential.
Support for these young carers and young adult carers to attain in the later stages of school is also important.