Care Alliance Ireland is the National Network of Voluntary Organisations supporting Family Carers. Our vision is that the role of Family Carers is fully recognised and valued by society in Ireland.

We exist to enhance the quality of life for Family Carers. We achieve this by supporting our member organisations in their direct work with Family Carers through the provision of information, developing research and policy, sharing resources, and instigating opportunities for collaboration.

There are approximately 274,000 Family Carers in the Republic of Ireland. Family Carer support is provided by a number of organisations, including those dedicated solely to carer support and others who support carers as part of their response to individuals with specific conditions. We work with our 95 member organisations and other agencies to support them in their work with Family Carers.

Our legitimacy derives from our membership base which includes all the carer organisations and virtually all the disease/disability-specific organisations currently providing services to Ireland’s Family Carers. Our membership is comprised of both large and small, regional and national organisations.

History

In 1995 a group of voluntary organisations, many condition or issue specific, came together with a view to forming an alliance.

The idea was that the formation of such an alliance could be an effective way of raising the awareness both within their own organisations and externally, about the valuable role played by Family Carers.

In the first few years activities focused on organising meetings to discuss issues of joint concern. In 1999 core funding was received from the Department of Health which facilitated the employment of a National Development Officer. Care Alliance had been producing and distributing newsletters since 1997 and in 2000 the first annual conference was held. In more recent years we have been active in commissioning Family Carer research and in making submissions. In 2006 we received Charitable Status and in 2008 were formally incorporated. In recent years our membership has expanded to include a wider range of NGOs and now stands at 95. In November 2013 we became fully compliant with the Governance Code for Community and Voluntary organisations.

Care Alliance has a board of 9 directors.

Care Alliance employs an Executive Director, a Policy and Research Officer and an Executive Officer.

The work of Care Alliance is informed by our constitution and by our Strategic Plan 2014-2017