Information and advice

The statutory guidance on the Care Act 2014 states that:

Having carried out a transition assessment, the local authority must give an indication of which needs are likely to be eligible needs (and which are not likely to be eligible) once the young person in question turns 18, to ensure that the young person or carer understands the care and support they are likely to receive and can plan accordingly. [8]

It is important for young carers to know what practical care and support they are likely to receive from their local authority after transition and how their needs are likely to be met, as well as to understand what will be put in place for the person they care for if they are not providing care.

Practical support can include help with:

Providing information to young carers can be more effective if it is given face to face by someone they trust, such as their key worker or care coordinator.

Where a young carer’s needs are eligible for statutory support, they should be provided with an indicative personal budget. In some cases this can be a more meaningful indication of the level of support they are likely to receive than a general description of the way in which needs are likely to be met.

Where their needs are not eligible for funding, local authorities must provide the young carer with information and advice on what other support may be available, in an accessible format, and ensure that it is age appropriate.

Practice example

In Central Bedfordshire there are an estimated 260 young carers aged 17 or younger caring for adults. Of these, around 10 per cent are between 16 and 17 years old and will be shortly moving on to adult services. Central Bedfordshire’s children and adult service part funds Carers Bedfordshire to engage with young carers aged between 16 and 25. Young carer groups discuss topics such as benefits advice, moving on to adulthood and using free time.

Emma’s story

When I met with my young carers’ worker for the first time, the only participation that was happening was with my duvet and the telly remote control … yes that’s how our relationship began … but she [case worker] stuck with it and me … and I think that was so important … I didn’t think it was at the time … but now on reflection that was the building blocks that somehow led to me feeling I had a voice, I was someone that could make a difference … but I needed to sort out my stuff.

For some time, I didn’t totally want to come out of my comfort zone, I had gotten so used to my little protective shell … And I was very reluctant to leave it … why would I? If was all I knew and everything outside was the unknown … a scary world … and add to that being a young carer … well it does sound great doesn’t it?!!!