Census night is on April 24th and question 22 is an important one for family carers as it asks people to record whether or not they are a family carer and to count the number of hours they care per week.
This information is vital for the planning and delivery of services and supports for care in the home and Family Carers Ireland often use this information and CSO statistics in our lobbying efforts and discussions with Government.
Family Carers Ireland thinks that many carers are not filling out this section properly, some don’t see themselves as fitting within the definition of carer and others underestimate the number of hours they provide caring. That is why we are running our Carers Count campaign and are looking for your help so we can get a more accurate picture of family care in this census.
4.1% of the Irish population marked themselves as a family carer in the last census compared to 11% in Northern Ireland. Partly this is due to a different definition of family care in the two jurisdictions but we also think it is because many carers don’t see themselves as carers. We’re asking you to help us reach those people and for them to consider marking themselves as a family carer on the 24th April. The Census definition is broad enough to include those who care around the clock, those who are in employment and also care for a loved one, young carers, those in receipt of carers allowance and carers who don’t receive this payment. The attached leaflet on Question 22 makes it clear the broad range of people who should tick the carer box on Census night. So please read this leaflet carefully and share it with other carers in your life.