Equal theme
Get involved
Valid XHTML 1.1

ACE - Action for Carers and Employment

Partnership information


Carers Rights Day Launch


The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 came into force in England on the 1st April 2005 and in Wales on 18th April. The Act is the result of a Private Member's Bill which was taken through Parliament by Dr Hywel Francis MP for Aberavon.  Dr Francis attributes the success of the Bill to widespread support from carers and local carers groups.  

Carers have been victims of conflicting government policies for many years, but an ageing population and changes to key policies such as pensions introduce a new urgency. Carers' experiences consistently show that a real need for change still exists.  

As time has gone on and Government policies have developed, it has become clear that the existing Strategy for carers does not tackle some of the underlying clashes of Government policy, nor key issues that carers currently have.  Without a joined-up approach, Government's policy will be constantly pulled in different directions, with disastrous consequences for carers' lives.

What is it that the Act does

  • Gives carers new rights to information - Section 1 of the Act places a duty  on local authorities to inform Carers of their right to a Carers Assessment .   

  • Ensures that work, life-long learning and leisure are considered when a carer is assessed -  Section 2  means that when a Carer's Assessment is being completed it must take into account whether the carer works or wishes to work, any courses the carer is taking or wishes to take, and any other leisure activities the carer undertakes or wishes to undertake.  

  • Gives local authorities new powers to enlist the help of housing, health, education and other local authorities in providing support to carers - Section 3 states that if the local authority requests another authority to plan services, that authority must give that request due consideration.


The aim is  to influence and inform key public, private and not-for-profit social care service providers and key policy stakeholders such as government departments, regulatory bodies and trade unions.

To test out innovation in social care delivery looking at services that "work around work" and is campaigning for the establishment of a National Care Strategy that will result in long term development and investment in the social care sector.


ACE National’s objectives are to:

  • Carry out research into the factors that influence why, how and if carers access alternative care services that enable them to work.
  • Use delivery partnerships to identify and enhance exisiting care services, and develop and test new care services, which enable carers to work. 
  • Support the participation of carers in planning the development and delivery of care service provision.
  • Develop a national policy partnership that will use the lessons of the research and delivery partnerships to influence long term development and investment in the health and social care sector, including working to establish a National Care Strategy.

Target Groups

Carers, employers



Round 1 to Round 2

In Round 2 ACE has been developing further the initiatives started in Round 1.


Transnational partnerships


Madeline Starr, Carers UK,

Equal theme

Facilitating access


ACE from 2002 -2005 has focussed on the individual needs of carers who want to work, testing support such as pre-vocational training, tailored advice and guidance, targetted support services from main stream employment services such as Jobcentre plus, the the promotion of carer friendly policies and practices in the workplace.


Lone parents and people with care responsibilities, Other

Intended impact/ sustainability

The partnership is addressing the most complex system barriers to carers remaining in or entering work. The ACE development partnership is having a significant impact on the long term development and investment in the Health and Social Care Sector

Scatter plot

Process X X X X
Practice X
Policy X X
City Local Regional National European


The Development Partnership through localised activity undertaken by Hertfordshire ACE is capturing the number of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) carers who are referred to the project to check if their views that BME referrals are higher than anticipated. The first count shows 16% which is high and raises some interesting questions about mainstream practice. ACE Surrey has awarded 48 brokerage applications to date, 16% of which to BME carers (the ethnic minority population in Surrey is 5% and


ACE delivers specific interventions through regional partners Crossroads. Crossroads operate regionally and nationally through 191 schemes to enable carers to be supported


The Development Partnership has national impact through the activity of delivery; implementation; research and policy partners.


The ACE Development Partnership includes European Partners focussed on the work of Cares in the EU.


ACE uses delivery partnerships to identify and enhance exisiting care services, and develop and test new care services, which enable carers to work.


ACE is a national policy partnership that will use the lessons of the research and delivery partnerships to influence long term development and investment in the health and social care sector, including working to establish a National Care Strategy


Across ACE Development Partnership there are four policy officers: In Carers UK; Carers Scotland; Carers Wales; and Contact a Family. The role of these policy officers are to move forward the policy objectives for ACE

Move the mouse over the scatter plots to see more information or view all information without using the mouse.

Is this information correct?



Activities and products