Research

Working for Carers Evaluation Report: 2016–2019

Resource title: Working for Carers Evaluation Report: 2016–2019
Published: 2020    Author: Natasha Burnley and James Ronicle, Ecorys UK

Community Fund European Union European Social Fund

Working for Carers supports unpaid carers aged 25 or over to move closer to employment, with joint-funding from the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. The first phase of the project ran from October 2016 and September 2019 and was evaluated by Ecorys.

Key points

  • Carers have made good progress in moving towards employment.
  • The extension of funding until 2022 has enabled the network to put its learning into practice.
  • The Carers Trust Network has seen benefits from being involved in the programme, including increased capacity, effective partnership working and engagement with key policy makers.

About the resource

The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered in all London boroughs by its network of partners, with four taking a lead role as hub partners. The first phase of the project ran from October 2016 and September 2019 and was evaluated by Ecorys.

Key learning from the evaluation includes:

  • The need for carer specialists to deliver the Working for Carers project and for a holistic approach to employment support.
  • The importance of working with community-based partners.
  • The replicability of the project to areas outside of London; and the importance of understanding funders’ compliance requirements from the start.
  • The data suggests a number of facilitators in successful project delivery, including hub partners working together to maximise resources, positive changes to staffing structures, flexibility in project design and delivery, and additional support from external funding sources.
  •  Barriers include burden of compliance, staff changes and recruitment delays, staff time spent travelling, lack of staff training resources, retaining an employment focus in a holistic programme, and setting up the project while live.
  • A key lesson has been the need to tailor the specific mix of activities to the demographics and needs of carers in each local area.