Who we are and what we do

Who we are

This blog is hosted by the Research Network on Informal and Formal Caregiving.

What we do

Carers, campaigners, academics and practitioners are all helping to raise awareness of the work of both unpaid family carers and professional caregivers through research, teaching and civic engagement. Our research network brings together researchers, carers and practitioners concerned with both informal, unpaid, usually family caregiving and formal, professional care. The work of unpaid and professional caregivers often overlaps. Both are engaged in emotional labour that often requires compassion, informal caregivers may also need to acquire specialised health care skills and unpaid and professional carers often need to work together to support people with care needs.

However, for families, the roles and identities that caring and being cared-for can engender can be more complex. Caregiving can have a significant impact on the relationships between family members and sometimes, though rarely, there may be violence, abuse or neglect in a caring relationship, by and towards caregivers.  These issues are naturally of particular concern in the case of young carers. The demands of unpaid caregiving can also impact negatively on the health and wellbeing of carers and may mean that family income is reduced if a carer needs to cut down or give up paid work. Understanding how people cope, adapt and need support to address these kinds of issues is important for preventing and identifying situations in which relationships can break-down and the demands of illness and caring become overwhelming. The first step towards understanding is recognising and valuing the unpaid work that carers do.

Contact us

You can contact us about anything caregiver related through the website or email Professor Fiona Carmichael on f.carmichael@bham.ac.uk or email any member of the network team.