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Young carers

The Care Act 2014 outlines the requirements that the local authorities need to deliver to support young carers and their families.

Who is a young carer?

A child or young person under the age 18 who provides regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally disabled or misuses substances.

What does a young carer do?

Young carers are often responsible for:

  • practical tasks, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, collecting prescriptions  
  • personal care, helping with bathing, dressing and help with taking medication  
  • emotional support, including talking to someone who is distressed, helping someone to communicate  
  • looking after younger siblings  
  • managing the family budget  

Some young carers undertake high levels of care; others carry out low levels of care frequently. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person. Usually children and young people don’t want to stop their caring role, but would welcome some extra help. It’s important that we provide support to help them balance their role with their rights to be children or young people. 

The Children’s Society report shows that 1 in 12 young carers spend more than 15 hours a week looking after a parent or sibling. Find out more about the report's findings.

How we support young carers

We make sure that young carers are given extra support to make sure their caring roles do not stop them from learning, staying healthy and enjoying their childhood/young lives. In consultation and co-production with Walsall Young Carers, our support has been reviewed and continues to be developed.

Find out more about the support we offer to our young carers, and our young carers group.

Our support also includes:

Young carers' assessment

Young carers are entitled to an assessment of their needs under the Children and Families Act and Care Act 2014.

The Early Help team are responsible for completing the young carers' assessment. This forms part of the Multi Agency Early Help Initial Assessment/Pathway.

This is an opportunity for families, young people and children to talk with a member of staff from Early Help. Young carers can share information about their responsibilities and how this makes them feel. Together, we will consider what help is available. This includes support for the young carer's health, wellbeing, and education, as well as help to access a young carers' group where they can meet friends and enjoy activities.

If you know a child or young person who is helping to care for a family member, you can make a referral online:

Referral form for a young carer's assessment

Information for schools

Many young carers can struggle to keep with some of the aspects of their education. This includes:

  • missing lessons to accompany the person they are caring for attending appointments
  • being late for school sometimes, due to the caring responsibilities they will do before starting school 
  • struggling at times to complete homework on time due to their caring responsibilities and busy home life

In March 2020 all schools and other key partners were invited to participate in the scheme, following the launch of the young carers support offer.

 

Information for healthcare professionals

We've introduced ID cards to help you to:

  • identify the children and young people who are young carers
  • understand what their caring responsibilities may include
  • tailor the support you can offer to them

 

Young Carers Champions

We are asking for more professionals to step forward as  young carers champions within Walsall. The role includes:

  • raising awareness about young carers
  • being a first point of contact
  • being identifiable as a young carers champion 
  • supporting and advocating for children and young people
  • keeping young carers on school agendas
  • distributing information to school staff
  • receiving training and a certificate
  • networking with professional from a wide range of services
  • making young carers aware of what their school can do to support them

They will also attend the Walsall Young Carers Action Group, who meet 4 times a year. They'll feed back on how the service is working with young carers, and help develop the young carers support service in Walsall.

If you would like more information please contact us via email.

Support for parents of young carers

The parent group is led by parents with a focus on peer support between families, supported by members of Early Help team.

The group meets once a fortnight on a Friday morning and is delivered via Microsoft Teams.

If you know of any parents who would like to get involved please contact us via email.

Young Carers action days

Young Carers Action Day - Taking Action on Isolation

Walsall Early Help Partnership have run a Young carers Action Day, to continue raising the awareness of young carers and the issues that are important to them. 

Every day across the UK, thousands of young people help look after someone in their family or a friend who is ill, disabled, or has a mental health problems or addiction. 

Get involved and help our young carers stay connected, access services and the support they need to reduce isolation. 

The Action day provided information on:

  • the impact of being a young carer, in the words of a young carer 
  • how you and your service can get involved and the difference you can make 
  • the free training package and resources available to you and your service
If you need more information, get in touch by emailing the Young Carers team. 

 

Young Carers Action Group

Walsall Early Help and partners from Health and Education meet quarterly to work together building a Young Carers Service in partnership. 

if you would like to be part of our Young Carers team, please email us. 

Contact information:

To find out more about young carers, please speak to one of the team:

  • Address:

    My Place, 60 Walstead Road West, Walsall, WS5 4PE

  • Email us