Supporting carers, including young carers, is a priority for this Government. We want young carers to be healthy, to achieve and to have the same opportunities as other children.
That is why within six months of the general election we published the revised HMG Carers Strategy ‘Recognised, valued and supported: Next Steps for the Carers Strategy’. The Department made three commitments in that strategy, all of which have now been implemented: to make a new Early Intervention Grant available to local Government; to work with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to develop the first all-age careers service; and to launch a new national campaign to help turn around the lives of families with multiple problems—now being lead by the troubled families team in the Department for Communities and Local Government.
In addition to this work the Department for Education is also grant-funding the Children's Society and Carers Trust £1.5 million over two years to work with local authorities and voluntary and community organisations to: encourage children's and adult services to work more closely together and adopt ‘whole family’ approaches to supporting young carers; and identify and share existing evidence based good practice, tools and resources for the identification and support of young carers.
To support this work further the Department for Education (DFE) has also worked with the Department of Health and the National Young Carers Coalition to create a ‘Healthy Schools’ e-learning module for teachers and school staff to enable them to better identify and support young carers. It is available on the Children's Society website:
To support the spread of effective practice, we have also published ‘Turning around the lives of families with multiple problems—an evaluation of the Family and Young Carer Pathfinders Programme’. This evaluation report is based on findings from 18 local authorities that have been developing innovative local practice by getting children's and adult services to work effectively together alongside the voluntary sector and schools to support young carers. The report is available at:
Last year following Carers Week I wrote to every MP and every director of children's services in England to urge them to continue to champion the cause of young carers in their area and ensure they have access to the support services they require.