The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have commissioned a report which sets out a radical and inspiring vision for England’s social care system.
The Archbishops’ report on social care is called Care and Support Reimagined: A National Care Covenant for England.
Nine experts were tasked with reimaging care and support in a way that addressed the needs and concerns of everyone involved: people who draw on care and support; people who work in the social care sector; people who care for their family members, friends, and neighbours.
The Commission spent the last year and half speaking to people who get care and support, those who give it as well as academics, policy makers and politicians. They found out what the existing challenges and frustrations were as well as how people could flourish and live full lives.
The uniqueness of the report is that it calls for a Covenant, which would clearly and simply set out the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved in care. The Covenant would make clear the role of citizens, families, communities and the State both in providing care and paying for it.
Welcoming the report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby said:
“This report gives me hope that we can rise to the challenge of fixing our broken social care system. Jesus Christ offers every human being life in all its fullness, and so we must broaden our understanding of care and support as the means by which everyone, regardless of age or ability, can experience abundant life. Rooted in the right values, the development of a National Care Covenant is a step towards this, where everyone is engaged in a collaborative effort to ensure that we can all access the care and support we need.”
The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, said:
"This report outlines a new vision for our society where we learn to be inter-dependent with one another, where I thrive because you do, and together we live in a country where we serve one another and flourish together. In our Church, this begins with us proclaiming loudly and clearly that each of us is made in the image of God, known and loved deeply for who we are, not simply for what we contribute. I pray that this report is the beginning of a wider national conversation about what it means to be a caring society.”
Commenting on the release of the report, the Chair of the Commission, Dr Anna Dixon MBE, said:
“Our reimagined vision for care and support puts relationships at the centre and encourages us to think about how social care can enable everyone to live well. This is no time for tinkering around the edges of a social care system that for too long has left people who draw on care and support feeling marginalised, carers feeling exhausted and undervalued, a system which provides no clarity about what is expected of each of us. A National Care Covenant, with its focus on the mutual responsibilities, will help us to work together towards our common goal.”
The Co-Chair of the Commission, the Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, reflected: “It has been a privilege to hear the experiences and aspirations of people from across the country who draw on care and support, unpaid carers, and care workers, and we have sought to reflect their contributions in our report. I believe that the Church of England, alongside other faith communities, has a vital role to play in supporting people and creating spaces where everyone is valued and can participate, regardless of age or ability.”