RBWM Safeguarding Partnership

Young Carers

Last updated: 09/06/2020

What is a young carer?

A Young Carer is defined in accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014 as “A young person under the age of 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person” who is suffering from a physical or mental illness, physical or learning disability or addiction.

The Children and Families Act 2014 and Care Act 2014 strengthen the rights of young carers and give greater protection of their welfare. The Acts place a duty on local authorities to provide an assessment to establish the support needs of a young carer, which consider the needs of the whole family. It is important to acknowledge young carers and let them know of their rights, even if they choose not to have a formal Young Carers Assessment. Young Carers so often describe themselves as feeling invisible in their roles. Yet, carers need care too.

 Young Carer Assessments

We provide a full Young Carer Needs Assessment and a bespoke support plan, depending on need. If a young person is found to require support from the service then our Young Carer Practitioners will work actively to reduce inappropriate caring roles and ensure caring is at a safe and healthy level.

 Additional support could include:

  • Whole-family support to strengthen relationships
  • One-to-one targeted support
  • Targeted group work
  • Respite breaks during the school holidays
  • Help with accessing services
  • Information and advice
  • Young Carers’ Ambassadors Programme

 To make a referral, please refer to our referral guidance notes and complete a referral form or email rbwm.referrals@family-action.org.uk

 RBWM Young Carer Friendly Community

We build our community by providing professionals training throughout the year and support external services to achieve the National Young Carers Award scheme. This scheme is open to education, statutory services, healthcare and community services.

 Those gaining awards demonstrate their commitment to supporting young carers in their setting and working together to build on this commitment and provide additional help, support and signposting for young carers and their families – building a stronger community for young carers.

 Those wishing to gain Award status are required to:

  • Nominate Young Carer Champions within their setting
  • Attend our Train the Trainer event, and disseminate their learning to staff teams and young people
  • Undertake a self-assessment within their school, organisation or group to identify young carers
  • Create a supporting environment within their school, organisation or group, such as providing regular wellbeing groups or drop in services
  • Refer Young Carers to Family Action for a young carers assessment and further targeted support, when appropriate
  • Attend Family
  • Action training and reflective sessions

What do young carers do?

Having a parent, grandparent or sibling with a disability or illness can make a difference to the way the child or young people feels and talks about things. They may be taking on extra tasks like shopping, cooking and cleaning. They might have to physically help the person being cared for, for example, to wash, get dressed or move about.  They might be also offering emotional support for their well-being and mental health.  

Help and support

Under existing legislation, local authorities are expected to take “reasonable steps” to identify which children in their area are young carers and if they have support needs.  If a child or young person is identified as having support needs, the local authority must carry out an assessment – this is known as a “Young Carer’s Needs Assessment”.

Family Action provide the Young Carers Service on behalf of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) to reduce the burden of care on children and young people aged 5-18.

To make a referral, please email rbwm.referrals@family-action.org.uk

Family Action - Young Carers Referral Form

Family Action - Young Carers Referral Guidance Notes

Professionals can refer directly to Family Action if there are no additional safeguarding concerns. Alternatively they can refer via MASH if there are other support needs identified within the family in addition to a caring role.

When you are ready to start thinking about the future you can also be offered a ‘transition assessment’ under the Care Act 2014. This is a chance for you to discuss what you want for the future, including whether you go in to higher education or employment and what support you will need for you or for the person you care for to achieve your goals. 

More information

Designated Safeguarding Leads Presentation May 2020. 

Family Action - Young Carers Annual Academic Newsletter

Know Your Rights - Carers Trust Booklet

Support for families

FamilyLine is a free service available to support adult family members on all aspects of family life issues via telephone, text message and email. Whether it’s emotional support or practical advice on any aspect of parenting or broader family issues, call: 0808 802 6666, text: 07537 404282 or email: familyline@family-action.org.uk