Evidence type: Evaluation i
Information about the programme design and rationale
Evidence about Financial Capability outcomes for programme participants
Evidence that the Financial Capability outcomes were caused by the programme
Evidence about programme implementation, feasibility, and piloting
Evidence about relative costs and benefits of the programme
Carers UK piloted an online resource called Thinking Ahead. The project was designed to raise awareness among working age people about the potential costs of providing care for family or friends, and to help people plan ahead for managing this life event if necessary. The online resource was designed as a single entry point, providing information, guidance and signposting to support on the potential impact of caring. The pilot was available UK-wide, and users were required to complete pre-and post- surveys. 251 users completed the pre-tool survey, and 133 completed the post-tool survey.
The UK has 6.5 million carers supporting someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill, and approximately 2 million people become carers each year. Caring is a key life transition. Carers UK’s 2014 State of Caring Survey found that over half of carers (54%) said that it took over a year for them to recognise their role as that of an unpaid carer and around half (48%) felt they had missed out on financial support as a result. The primary target audience for piloting the online resource was working-age people aged 18-65 who are in employment and have either identified as caring for a loved one or could be affected by caring in the future. The project was designed to better prepare participants for a caring role in the future.
Carers UK commissioned New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) to evaluate the project. The process and outcomes evaluation aimed to address the following research question:
‘Does a better understanding of the impacts of caring on their finances help working-age people in employment to make better decisions regarding how they plan for life events, like caring?’
The evaluators employed a mixed-methods approach, drawing on pre- and post- survey responses from Thinking Ahead resource users, follow-up user surveys undertaken after two-three months, and 12 semi-structured follow-up interviews with users.