Young carers are children and young people who spend time looking after someone else - usually a family member who is mentally or physically ill or has some form of disability which means they need help.
Being a young carer forces the child or young person to take on much more responsibility than is normal for their age and can cause a lot of worry and stress.
Young Carers' Support In Haringey
The Youthspace website offers advice and local contacts for Young Carers.
Haringey's Young Carers Project supports young carers by offering:
- someone to talk to
- advice and support
- the chance to meet other young carers
- trips and activities
- people who are trained to act on your behalf
- help with money
- guidance on what to do in an emergency
- information about how to cope with illness and disability
- the opportunity to discuss your needs and what support you might need
The London Child Protection Procedures on Young Carers
A young carer is a child who is responsible for caring on a regular basis for a relative (usually a parent, grandparent, sometimes a sibling or very occasionally a friend) who has an illness or disability.
This can be primary or secondary caring.
Caring responsibilities can significantly impact upon a child’s health and development. Many young carers experience:
- Social isolation
- A low level of school attendance
- Some educational difficulties
- Impaired development of their identity and potential
- Low self-esteem
- Emotional and physical neglect
- Conflict between loyalty to their family and their wish to have their own needs met
Professionals in all agencies should be alert to a child being a young carer. Where a young carer is identified, professionals should consider the child’s support needs in the first instance via Early Help services.
A referral should be made to LA children’s social care, where a young carer is:
- Unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable standard of health or development because of their caring responsibilities;
- At serious risk of harm through abuse or neglect;
- Providing intimate body care.
Unless there is reason to believe that it would put the child at risk of harm, young carers should be told if there is a need to make a referral, in order that their trust in a professional is retained.
Where a young carer is caring for another child, each individual child should be assessed using the Common Assessment Framework, except if the child/ren are at risk of significant harm.
Care Experience Matters
This document sets out beneficial practice for prisons, probation and local authorities to provide consistent and appropriate support for people with care experience whilst they are in prison, upon release, or under community supervision.
The guidance includes what care experienced people in the criminal justice system have told us would help them. It sets out what we can do across prisons, probation and local authorities, working collaboratively, to provide that support to help people in our care who are over 18. It can also help young people who live in the youth custody estate who have care leaver status and are waiting for release or transfer to the adult prison estate.
The guide, “Care Experience Matters” has now been published and can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-experience-matters.
Published 13 March 2023