CAREWELL Conversations Podcast

Raising awareness about the issues and challenges facing family carers who combine work and care.

Latest Episode

“Aligning the concept of caring and paid employment with social justice, equality and cooperative work.” CAREWELL Conversations

Previous Episodes

Episode One

‘Policies and practices that provide support for family carers in the workplace’ CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Two

European Perspective on Working Carers CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Three

‘Supporting family carers in Irish workplaces – A trade union perspective” CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Four

“Combining a family caring role with paid employment- A family carers perspective” CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Five

“The challenges and benefits of supporting family carers in paid employment – A business perspective” CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Six

“Jobs for Family Carers-A social enterprise connecting family carers with employers” CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Seven

Combining paid employment and family caring – a political perspective. CAREWELL Conversations

Episode Eight

“The Win-Win of retaining working family carers in paid employment” CAREWELL Conversations

Pilot Episode

CAREWELL Project Introduction CAREWELL Conversations

In our ninth episodeAligning the concept of caring and paid employment with social justice, equality and cooperative work.” Prof. Kathleen Lynch, Emeritus full professor (RTA) at the School of Education in UCD is joined in conversation by Dr. Doreen Mucheru, Carewell Project manager at UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. Kathleen is the author of the book Care and Capitalism and she has advocated both nationally and internationally as an academic and activist for social justice and equality with community groups, non-governmental organisations and statutory bodies. Doreen and Kathleen examine the challenges experienced by all family carers and those in paid employment referencing, the gendered lens, care centric thinking, cooperative working, social justice and equality.. Podcast released on the 9th of September 2022

“Assumption that it (care) came naturally to people, caring was a natural disposition. It was something that came naturally to you, you don’t have to learn it and of course it was assumed that it came naturally to women more than men”

 Kathleen Lynch, Emeritus Full professor (RTA) UCD School of Education

In our first episode, ‘Policies and practices that provide support for family carers in the workplace’, Dr Majella Fahy, from the CAREWELL team at UCD is joined in conversation by CIPD Ireland, Director, Ms Mary Connaughton to discuss solutions to the issues and challenges facing employers and working family carers. CIPD guide on creating a carer friendly workplace available here. Podcast released on 28th April 2022

“There’s a national need, as well as an individual need that actually we do address this topic.”

Ms. Mary Connaughton Director CIPD Ireland

In our second episode, “European Perspective on Working Carers”, Dr. Nikki Dunne, Research Manager at Family Carers Ireland is joined in conversations by Mr. Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director of Eurocarers to discuss the EU Directive on Work Life Balance and the importance of the collaborative approach to advocating for those in a caring role facilitated by Eurocarers. which can influence change such as that outlined by the EU Directive and outlines some of Eurocarers aspirations for the future. Podcast released on 10th May 2022

“It is important to establish a dialogue with employers and trade unions who need to understand carers leave and flexible working are not barriers to productivity”

Mr. Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director of Eurocarers

In our third episode, ‘Supporting family carers in Irish workplaces – A trade union perspective”, Dr Majella Fahy, from the CAREWELL team at UCD is joined in conversation by Mr David Joyce, Policy Officer for Equality and Development at Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). They discuss how trade unions can represent working family carers to help raise awareness around the issues and challenges they face in the workplace, and examine the issues through a gendered lens. Podcast released on 24th May 2022

“I’d encourage people to engage with their unions because you know the more conversations that happen, the more likely that we are going to get the change that we need”

Mr. David Joyce, Policy Officer for Equality and Development at Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

In our fourth episode “Combining a family caring role with paid employment- A family carers perspective” Ms. Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy at Family Carers Ireland is joined in conversation by family carer Ms. Lizzie Falconer. As one of over 250,000 family carers in Ireland combining caring and paid employment, Lizzie shares her lived experience of the challenges and issues trying to combine these two roles. Lizzie also outlines how employers can and do support her to meet the commitments of these roles and how family carers can be an asset to employers due to the skillset, passion and work effort they can bring to their employment. Podcast released on10th of June 2022

“We understand the complexity of things….we actually get stuff done, because we have no choice, we get stuff done for the people we care for every day, and I think we can translate that into a professional environment.”

Ms. Lizzie Falconer, Family Carer

In our fifth episode “The challenges and benefits of supporting family carers in paid employment – A business perspective” Dr. Kara McGann, Ibec’s Head of Social Policy is joined by Dr. Linda Dowling-Hetherington Director – Assurance of Learning, UCD School of Business. As a strong advocate of gender balance, diversity and inclusion within the Irish business community, Kara discusses the importance of retaining and supporting family carers within paid employment and how businesses through policies and supports can help achieve this goal . Ibec’s “Better lives, better business” policy campaign aims to make Ireland a better place to work for all sections of society including family carers. Podcast released on the 30th of June 2022

“I think employers recognise the value that a healthy work life balance and flexible working can bring to the work place, we know from research we see greater worker engagement, diversity and inclusion, staff retention all being some of the obvious benefits.”

Dr. Kara McGann, Head of Social Policy Ibec

In our sixth episode “Jobs for Family Carers-A social enterprise connecting family carers and employers” Ms Fiona O’Neill, Social entrepreneur and founder of Jobs for Family Carers is joined in conversation by Mr. Brian Doyle, a member of the CAREWELL team and producer of the podcast series. Fiona explains how her journey with Jobs for Family Carers now known as Count on Us Recruitment, started when she became a family carer herself. Fiona discusses with Brian how she endeavours to match family carers to employment opportunities which meet the 18.5 hours’ time constraints for those in receipt of carers allowance. Fiona also outlines how she is raising awareness among employers in how to open up job opportunities to potentially avail of the skill, experience and commitment that family carers can bring to companies and organisations.

“Having a job is not just about a pay slip, it’s the social element, the psychological element, the emotional piece…..it’s all those little things”

Ms. Fiona O’Neill Social Entrepreneur, Count on Us Recruitment

In our seventh episode “Combining paid employment and family caring – a political perspective” TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill spokesperson on equality and Vice Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party is joined in conversation by Prof. Thilo Kroll, Health Systems Management, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. Jennifer who is a member of the Cross Party Interest Group on Carers outlines the importance of acknowledging the issues and challenges family carers face and how important it is to advocate for them and raise awareness around the supports and policy provisions that are available to them. Podcast released on 9th of August 2022

“Many carers, like many parents, but particularly carers they just absorb what needs to be done….they take it in their stride because it has to get done because there is no alternative.”

TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill Vice Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party

In our eighth episode “The Win-Win of retaining working family carers in paid employment” Professor David Grayson, Emeritus professor of Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management and Chair of the International Pan-Disability Charity: Leonard Cheshire, is joined in conversation by  Ms. Catherine Cox, Head of Communications at Family Carers Ireland. David is the author of the book “Take Care-how to be a great employer for working carers” and he discusses with Catherine some of the advice and strategy’s for employers outlined in his book. David was inspired to write the book by his own experience as a working family carer and his professional and academic experience in the area of corporate responsibility. Podcast released on the 18th of August 2022

“I think we need societies to recognise that caring is just a fundamental part of what it means to be a human and then I think employers will see this as an integral part of being a great place to work, to be able to support their working carers.”

 David Grayson, Emeritus professor of Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management

In the pilot episode of “CAREWELL conversations” Mr. Brian Doyle, a member of the CAREWELL team and producer of the podcast series is joined in conversation by Dr Attracta Lafferty and Dr Niki Dunne, to discuss the CAREWELL Project and its aims, the work completed so far and what the future holds for the project. Podcast released on 8th April 2022

“Working carers, balancing paid employment alongside a caring role are a group that we’ve been concerned about for a long time”

Dr Nikki Dunne Research Manager Family Carers Ireland