Pride Month 2021: LGBTQ+ carers' needs: 'Can You See Us?'

Posted on: 11/06/2021

Gaddum, an advocacy, carers support and therapy services provider in Greater Manchester, and LGBT Foundation have worked together to better understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ carers in England.

At the start of the project, they researched what already existed in terms of LGBTQ+ carers support and found that little work had been done to understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ carers and to address their specific needs.

The evidence that does exist suggests that LGBTQ+ carers face a range of barriers and that their needs are often not met by services. For example, a Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard carer’s consultation found that LGBTQ+ carers faced a number of issues related to their identity. There were concerns that respite care would ‘not be LGBT aware and respectful’ and participants were concerned that care provided in the home would not be appropriate and may not respect their dignity and wishes. It was felt that support, advice and services must be LGBTQ+ aware and able to respond to the concerns that carers have.

A 2011 Stonewall survey found that three in five older LGB people were not confident that social care and support services, like paid carers or housing services, would be able to understand and meet their needs.

Furthermore 2015 research found a lack of recognition of LGBTQ+ relationships, this can be of friends as well as partners, this can create conflict over who is in charge of a persons’ care and who is nominated to make decisions on behalf of someone.

Young LGBTQ+ carers may also not be getting the support they need, a study of young LGBTQ+ carers in Scotland found that almost 2 in 3 said there was no person at their educational institution who recognised them as a LGBTQ+ young carer and helped them.

In order to address this gap in the evidence, LGBT Foundation and Gaddum launched a project to better understand LGBTQ+ carer’s needs and to look at how services should be improved to better support LGBTQ+ carers, this involved the recruitment of an advisory panel of LGBTQ+ cares from across the UK, who acted as the ‘experts by experience’ for the project and also they decided on the content and questions of the survey before it was released, as well as reviewing the results and deciding on what they final report should look like.

‘Can You See Us’ is a new report launched by Gaddum and LGBT Foundation based on the findings of this survey and from the feedback from the LGBTQ+ carers advisory panel who’s valuable contributions and feedback were all included in the final report.

Download the free report here.