We propose that the best way for Young Carers and their families to receive the appropriate support is for there to be a clear referral route to that support so that any concerns, whether this be from a young carer, family member or professional, can be directed to the same place. In addition to this, once these concerns/needs have been identified the appropriate whole family support including a key worker will be allocated in a timely manner.
There was agreement that a “structured and coordinated approach is exactly what is required to support this vulnerable group of young people and their families”. In the survey 86%.5 respondents agreed, 11.5% didn’t know and 1.9% disagreed.
Feedback suggested that the model needed to ensure there are links with other services, and that wider services have staff who are ‘Young Carers aware’. People agreed that a whole family approach would be the best way to support Young Carers, and that they should be seen as an individual and care should focus on them but within the context of the family.
Young Carers said they wanted to have long term support with a key person. Sometimes just going to a monthly (social) session, but having someone to talk to when things got hard at home. Young Carers wanted adults who listened and understood, and who were able to provide more information about how to get support. The key person to talk to was someone who they trusted from school or college, or their Young Carers worker at a youth project. Some Young Carers said they had an anxiety involving/ not wanting new workers or over complicating their home life.
Concern was raised at not having a level of specialist work with Young Carers within the proposed service. The reasons were around Young Carers not wanting to access services via statutory routes for fear of stigmatisation, especially with mental health or substance caring.
Consultation feedback showed current difficulties with the current referral process. Feedback suggested First response, Early Help etc. are holding cases with more complex multiple needs, and the needs of Young Carers are potentially being lost.
Adults working with Young Carers and their families said they are more likely to identify with non-statutory agencies and ask for support through those agencies rather than statutory services.
Young Carers said they would like the person supporting:
To listen and not judge
To provide experience from an adult point of view
To respect privacy
To be able to talk for longer periods of time
To provide more information on how to get support
To be a dedicated worker, someone specifically trained in supporting Young Carers, not necessarily a teacher.
They also said they would like:
Options for different workers (some Young Carers expressed that while they wanted someone to talk to they felt that sometimes this was best served by different support workers over time).
More information available via posters, teacher announcements and assemblies
The work on the Young Carers pathway continues to be developed with the Birth to 25 Service, Adult and Children’s Services. Feedback from consultation has been taken into account for this work and as a result BCC have submitted a business case for additional funding for the commissioned service to undertake assessments as part of the pathway. The newly commissioned services will work within the pathway to support and complement support to Young Carers and their families. There was recognition that there should be an element of a specialist service within the new commissioned service, for young carers who do not want to access support via statutory services, and to help with pressures on Early Help services, where the needs of Young Carers could be lost.
As a result of the consultation the service will provide assessments and support for Young Carers. Staff taking referrals will have an understanding of the needs of Young Carers and are trained to work with Young Carers. The service will then provide support to the Young Carer and their family as identified in the assessment. This may include direct 1-to-1 or group work as well as signposting to additional agencies to receive additional support. The service will work closely with the Integrated Carers team to co-work on joint assessments, and as a link to BCC social care, to assist in service navigation.