A Proposal for the Future of the Carers’ Grant Consultation

Closed 30 Jul 2017

Opened 12 Jun 2017

Feedback updated 14 May 2018

We asked

The City Council has provided grants of £250 to carers in the City. The intention has been that carers use the grant  to purchase goods or services to help them in their caring role.

You said

226 responses were received

We did

Contact below with any questions:

0121 303 5154


What are we consulting on?

The City Council has provided grants of £250 to carers in the City. The intention has been that carers use the grant  to purchase goods or services to help them in their caring role.

A carer is defined as someone who is looking after  someone who is aged 18 or over who is a friend, relative or neighbour who has a long-term disability, mental health difficulty, or is frail due to old age, and who are not paid for the care they provide. A carer does not have to live in the same house as the person being cared for. The typical caring role includes assistance with:

  • Personal care, such as washing, dressing or taking medication
  • Practical care, such as support with shopping, cooking and cleaning; or
  • Emotional support if they are lonely, worried or get upset.

As part of the City Council’s 2017/18+ budget, a proposal was included which would significantly reduce the funding available for carers’ grants.  The consultation on the City Council’s budget proposals ran from 8th December 2016 to 16th January 2017.

The Council has subsequently reduced the amount of funding available for the grant to £341,600 in 2017/18 – a reduction of 888 grants and to £119,600 in 2018/19 – leaving 478 grants available at £250 each.

The City Council’s application process for carers’ grants is currently suspended so that this consultation can take place.  This consultation will seek views on ways in which we can use our diminishing resources to better target and focus the remaining funds.


Since 1999, the City Council has provided grants to carers who support a person aged 18 years or older. Each grant is worth £250 and is paid directly to the carer to be used towards the cost of a holiday, or something else that will help sustain them in their caring role. Carers have been able to re-apply for a grant every 2 years, with allocation usually on a first come, first served basis.


The City Council recognises the current scheme has limitations including a lack of evidence that carers who are most in need access a grant and whether the grant is being spent in a way that is having a positive tangible impact on carer wellbeing.  



Previous consultation

A previous consultation to look at how to best use the grant was held between 11th June 2015 – 14th August 2015.  There were four public meetings, which were attended by over 100 people and over a hundred people also completed a questionnaire.  One of the proposals in this consultation was to introduce some more detailed eligibility criteria.  Almost 60% of the 130 respondents to the BeHeard questionnaire were in favour of the proposed eligibility criteria which were:

•    Caring for a relative, partner or friend, who is ill, frail, disabled, or has mental health or substance misuse problems;

•    Providing more than 10 hours support per week;

•    Willing to provide feedback on what impact the grant has had on their quality of life;

•    Willing to rate the quality of the service/ product they have purchased; and

•    Registered with the Birmingham Carers’ Hub.

We therefore intend to incorporate these eligibility criteria into this  new proposal.

As part of the 2015 consultation we piloted an e-marketplace on which carers could spend their voucher.  55% of respondents to the questionnaire thought that the proposal to offer a menu of products and services from vetted local providers was a good idea.


53% of respondents to the questionnaire thought that the proposed menu of services and products which was aimed at giving carers time out from the stresses and strains of caring, agreed that the listed services and products would have a positive impact on carer wellbeing.


Although this consultation took place in 2015, none of its findings have yet been taken forward.


How will we consult?


  1. We will be asking for views on these proposals from carers, those who are being cared for, the Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Service, health partners, organisations that provide carer support and the general public.
  2. We will be asking for views through events and meetings, BeHeard website, e-mail, letter and a public phone line.
  3. We will listen to, and take note of all your comments.
  4. We will publish and make widely available what we find out from the consultation and the next steps we will take. We will show where our proposals have been changed as a result of listening to people’s views. Where we do not make changes to our proposals we will explain why this is the case.
  5. We will write a report to our Cabinet including material about what we have found out through this consultation. The Cabinet is the governing body of the City Council, made up of elected councillors; it is responsible for decisions on all Council services.

A Proposal for the Future of the Carers’ Grant

We propose that in place of the current £250 Carers’ Grant scheme, we introduce a process which would allocate an amount of money to a carer following the outcome of an assessment, with the Birmingham Carers’ Hub.  This would be a one-off payment. The money will allow a carer to arrange how to manage their own wellbeing and contribute towards their being involved as an active citizen in family and community life, and to engage in work, education and leisure.

Please note that the ‘assessment’ referred to in this document is not the statutory needs assessment for carers referred to in the Care Act 2014.  The ‘assessment’ referred to here is undertaken by the Birmingham Carers’ Hub in order to signpost registered carers to information and services which may support them in their caring role.


Following an assessment, the carer will receive an allocated payment via a pre-loaded debit card which can either be collected in person from Birmingham Carers’ Hub, or posted out to them.

Carers will be free to use the debit card to purchase supplies and goods in line with the agreed outcomes identified in the assessment. There will be a time limit of 2 months for carers to spend their allocated money. A follow up review will determine the impact that the payment has had on the carer’s wellbeing.





  • Carers


  • Spending