A carer is someone who regularly provides a substantial amount of care to a family member, friend or neighbour who is ill, disabled or is an older person.

Carers (also referred to as informal carers or family carers) generally provide unpaid care as opposed to care workers who work in care and support jobs (e.g. domiciliary care).

In the 2011 census, 210,000 people in Northern Ireland identified as carers.

In the ‘Power to People’ Report, the Expert Advisory Panel said that carers are “the bedrock of care as their contribution is the primary way that most people experience care and support”.

Independent Expert Carers Panel

In order to deliver on the Department’s commitment to coproduction, an Independent Expert Carers Panel (IECP) is being established. The structure and role of the Carers Panel has been designed by carers to ensure that the voice of carers is involved at all levels of the decision making process and advisory structures for the Reform project. 

Read ‘In partnership: why the voice of Carers is so important' to find out why it’s vital that the voice of carers is heard.

IECP recruitment

The Department ran an open recruitment in summer 2018 to recruit 20 carers from across Northern Ireland to join the IECP.  The deadline for applications was Friday 10 August 2018.  Applications are currently being screened and scored by the Selection Panel.

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