Young carers are children under 18 with caring responsibilities.
If there is a disabled adult being cared for, then the council has a duty to consider whether there are any children involved in providing that care, and if so, what the impact is on that child. They have a duty to assess ‘on the appearance of need’ (ie without a ‘request’ having to be made) and the assessment must involve the child with caring responsibilities, their parents and any other person the young carer requests in the assessment process.
When carrying out any assessment, councils are expected to adopt what is called a whole family approach. This means considering how the needs of the person being assessed impacts on other family members, or anyone in their support network.
What are our duties and responsibilities towards young Carers?
Local Authorities have a general duty to ‘take reasonable steps’ to identify young carers in their area. They have a duty to assess whether a young carer needs support and what those needs are if:
- it appears to the council that a young carer may need support;
- the council receive a request from a young carer or a parent of a young carer to assess the young carer’s need for support; or
- an assessment has been carried out, but the circumstances of the young person or person being cared for have changed.
What support is available for Young Carers in Bexley?
Imago have been funded by Bexley Council to provide support to young carers between the ages of 8-18 years, living in Bexley who are taking on caring responsibilities for a family member with a long-term illness, disability, mental health or substance misuse issue (this includes siblings).
Imago accepts referrals from the statutory sector, communities, education and health, as well as family members and young carers themselves. They will complete a young carers assessment, which will include the young carer, their parents and any person whom the young carer or their parents request be involved.
Following completion of the assessment, Imago may provide a range of interventions including signposting, one-to-one support, in-school support and workshops. The intervention is designed to support the young carer in dealing with their caring role, as well as helping them with their own well-being, confidence and resilience.