JSNA - Young Carers
- Key Issues and gaps
- Who is at risk and why
- The level of need in the population
- Current services in relation to need
- Service users and carers opinion
- Expert opinion and evidence base
- Projected service use in 3-5 years and 5-10 years
- Unmet needs and service gaps
- Recommendations for consideration by commissioners
- Recommendations for further needs assessments
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Young carers are defined as children and young people under the age of 18 years who provide physical, personal and/or emotional care to another family member who has:
- Physical illness or disability
- Mental health difficulties
- Sensory loss
- Learning difficulty or learning disability
- Substance misuse
Disability refers to actual or perceived physical, sensory, emotional or learning impairment, long-term illness, HIV, drug or alcohol dependence and mental health problems.
At present (January 2012) the council’s service works with 74 young people.
The main issue facing the Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) and Adult Services is ensuring that vulnerable people do not rely on their children to carry out an inappropriate caring role. Whilst ensuring that this is achieved, support should be given to the young carers and their families to reduce the impact of the caring role on the child or young person while minimising any potential risk to the young carer or the adult needing care.
There is also a financial issue due to a reduction in the council’s funding. In 2008 there was a gross budget of £72,800. The budget in 2011/2012 is £57,000 which represents a 22% budget reduction over 3 years.
Data from the 2001 Census suggest that 723 children and young people in Haringey are providing care to members of their families. The local data gathered from 2001 Census and from the young carers project suggests that there are a significant number of young carers who are currently either unknown to statutory and voluntary sector agencies or deciding not to access services.
Local data is available from 2007. The data available on young carers the CYPS has worked with shows a spike in 2007 followed by a fall in 2008 and 2009 before levels increase significantly again in 2010 to beyond those reported in 2007.
Figure 1: Trend in number of young carers known to the Children and Young People's Service (CYPS) in Haringey
The total number of young people supported between Dec 2010 – Dec 2011 was 69. The table below shows the age of the young carers.
Figure 2: Age of the young carers in Haringey known to the Children and Young People's Service.
|Age||No. of children|
The increase in numbers of young carers accessing the service may be a result of the following activities that have been successfully implemented from July 2010 onwards;
- Raising the profile of the Young Carer programme with local stakeholders e.g. Children and Families Social Care Team; Schools; Youth Service; Health Services etc;
- Presentations on the young carers project at stakeholder team meetings; and
- Development of a draft young carers protocol for CYPS and Adult Social Care
In the report produced by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers ‘At What Cost To Young Carers’ (see footnote 1), the authors establish the following:
The implications of being one of the UK’s 175,000 known young carers, including the risk of truancy, under-achievement, isolation, mental and physical ill health, poverty and stress. These risks are particularly acute for young people affected by parental substance misuse (250,000 young people in the UK1), parental alcohol misuse (1.3 million young people2) and parental mental health problems (4.2 million parents3).
Anecdotally, young carers’ services regularly receive referrals of young people who are missing most or all of their schooling in order to care for someone. These young people may well be some of the 13,000 UK children found by the 2001 census who care for over 50 hours per week.
This relatively small group of persistent absentees is nevertheless a significant one: in England, just under 3% of all pupils account for 50% of truancy statistics and the Department for Education and Skills (now the Department for Education) has identified that 13,000 pupils in 200 schools in England are the young people whose needs are most acute.
In research carried out by Aldridge and Becker, 2003 (see footnote 2)
2001 National Census they identify the following impact with regard to young carers absence and attainment:
‘In more extreme situations, absence from school is a result of caring responsibilities or the nature of relatives' illness. For example, children may be afraid to leave parents, especially when they have a history of self harm or suicide. Some physical illnesses are marked by periods of exacerbation and remission and during acute phases children stay at home to 'be there' in case they are needed. This can lead to low educational attainment if regular or persistent.’
The last reliable measure of young carers was undertaken via the 2001 National Census.(see footnote 3)
- There are 175,000 young carers in the UK 5000 of which were aged between 5 -7 years old
- 56% girls; 44% boys
- Average age of a young carer is 12
- 56% live in lone parent families
- 52% of people receiving care are mothers
- 1 in 10 young carers is caring for more than one person
- 29% of 175,000 (50,000) are estimated to care for a family member with mental health problems
- 13% of those of primary and 27% of those of secondary school age experience problems at school
However a survey conducted for the BBC (see footnote 4) in 2010 of over 4,000 school children, showed that one in 12 had caring responsibilities, equating to some 700,000 young carers in the UK – four times the number identified in the 2001 census
With this evidence we can cautiously project that there maybe four times as many young carers living in Haringey i.e. 2892 rather than the 723 originally recorded in the 2001 census.
Haringey Young Carers programme is a directly run council service that is open to children and young people from 5 to 18 years of age and referrals are made from a variety of sources, e.g. social care (Children and Adults), schools and self-referral. The young carers programme currently offers short, medium and long term support and respite leisure activities to children and young people who provide physical, personal and/or emotional care to another family member.
Specific areas of focus are:
- The chance to meet other young carers
- Respite trips and activities
- Trained advocates who can act on behalf of young carer’s
- Advice and guidance with finances
- Guidance on what to do in an emergency
- Coping strategies relating to illness and/or disability of the adult
No specific evaluations of local service delivery from either carer or adult perspective have taken place since the service came back into the Children and Young People’s Service. However two parents meetings have taken place with two further meetings scheduled to take place in 2012.
The first meeting focussed on changes to the service when it was brought back ‘in house’ and the second meeting focussed around links with the former Adults Carers Centre.
Consultations have taken place with young carers with regard to the form of respite activities they wish to participate in. The consultation results identified activities such as trips to museums, the theatre, cinema, group meals and sport related activities. In response to these results the service has developed links with the British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadlers Wells Theatre, Jacksons Lane Theatre, The Phoenix Cinema, Finchley.
Through its links with the organisations listed above the service has incorporated visits to a number of plays, films and exhibitions as well as participating in multi-sport activities and group meals as part of the annual holiday respite activity programmes. In December 2011 young carers were involved in a consultation regarding the refurbishment of the new Young Carers base at Bruce Grove Youth Centre. The decorative images and ideas identified by them will form the central theme of the refurbishment.
Over the past 18 months four young carers have participated in Haringey Youth Council activities with a young carer being elected to the Youth Council Cabinet. The participation in Haringey Youth Council has had a positive impact on the four young carers mentioned above. It has built their self confidence and self esteem and provided them with opportunity to meet other young people whilst participating in decision making activities.
There is an inevitable tension in projecting service use. Trend data on young carers from 2007 show there has been an increase in the number using the service in Haringey and therefore a need to increase provision. As there is no national requirement to publish data on young carers it has been difficult to measure accurately how Haringey’s data for young carers compares to all its statistical neighbours.
Listed below is the data available on numbers of young carers in Haringey’s statistical neighbours. The data below reflects the number of young carers aged 5-18 as a percentage of the respective borough 5-18 population.
Figure 3: Proportion of young carers as a percentage of the population aged 5-18 for Haringey's statistical neighbours.
Proportion of young people who are carers (%)
The conclusion that can be drawn from the data above is that whilst Haringey has a smaller 5-18 population than the statistical neighbours listed above is that its percentage of young carers remains similar to those with larger populations.
There is a draft paper “Protocol and practice guidance for practitioners working with young carers and their families” which outlines good practice for services that may come into contact with young carers and/or their families.
The principles and procedures embodied in the draft protocol are based upon the rights of individuals as enshrined in legislation and the policies and procedures of Haringey Council. Practitioners working with families will be guided by the following principles.
The principles will:
- promote the rights of people using services;
- be derived from the law and best practice in achieving the best outcomes for all concerned;
- build on existing guidance about working with families;
- apply regardless of the family circumstances, and whatever the aim of the intervention or the role of the practitioner is.
The legislative and policy frameworks underpinning the guidance paper are:
- Disabled Persons (Services and Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, S8 (external link)
- The Children Act 1989 (external link)
- NHS and Community Care Act 1990, S47 (external link)
- Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995, S1 (external link)
- National Service Framework for Mental Health 1999 (PDF 403KB external link)
- The Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 2000 (PDF 339KB external link)
- Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 (external link).
- The Children Act 2004 – which established the five Every Child Matters Outcomes (external link)
- The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 (external link)
- Practice guidance to the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 (SCIE 2005) (external link)
- The Common Assessment Framework 2005.(external link)
- Mental health Act 2007 (external link)
- Putting People First: a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult social care (DH 2007) (PDF 339KB external link)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 (external link)
- Prioritising Need in the Context of Putting People First: a whole system approach to eligibility for social care - guidance on eligibility criteria for adult social care DoH February 2010
A survey conducted for the BBC in 2010 of over 4,000 school children, showed that one in 12 had caring responsibilities, equating to some 700,000 young carers in the UK – four times the number identified in the 2001 census. With this evidence we can cautiously project that there maybe four times as many young carers living in Haringey i.e. 2892 rather than the 723 originally recorded in the 2001 census.
Local data gathered both in 2001 Census and from young carers project provision suggests that there are a significant number of young carers who are currently either unknown to statutory and voluntary sector agencies or deciding not to access services. To both increase the numbers of young carers accessing the project and raise the profile of the project with professional and other agencies, with the express aim of increasing the number of referrals made, the young carers project will be undertaking the following activities throughout 2012-13:
- Raising the profile of YCs service with local stakeholders e.g. Children and Families Social Care Team; Schools and Health Service etc
- Presentations on young carers project at stakeholder team meetings
- Implementation of the Young Carers database
- Completion of Young Carers Base
- Development of Young Carers online resource
- Increase number of volunteers supporting programme
- With the involvement of young carers development of transitions strategy for young carers 17 years +
- Implementation of the young carers protocol for CYPS and Adult Social Care
Haringey Council commissioned Action for Children to deliver services for young carers until 2010 when the contract ended. Since this time the programme has been delivered through the Children and Young People’s Service. The decision to bring the service back ‘in house’ was based on the need to provide improved value for money, whilst maintaining a high quality of provision to young carers.
The Joint Children’s Commissioning Group for young people aged 11+ have identified the following priorities:
- CAMHS (high priority as the service is planning to retender)
- Integrated services for children with disabilities
- Lifestyle issues – sexual health, substance misuse, physical activity
- Youth provision (incorporating Alternative Education provision)
- Children on the edge of care and custody
- Sufficiency duty
The needs of young carers will be incorporated into the priorities relating to transition, lifestyle issues and youth provision as appropriate.
We are in the consultation stage of the development of a strategy for young people in Haringey which will provide a framework of delivery for service providers working with young people aged 13 – 19 and 25 for young people with a learning difficulty or disability.
The strategy highlights the need for all providers of activities to work together and, in particular, demonstrates the importance of commissioning activities, based on an evidenced need, to ensure that we are achieving the best possible value for money. The draft strategy has not highlighted any specific target group e.g. young carers, young people with disabilities etc. However, this will be reviewed after consideration of all consultation responses.
- Establishment of baseline in 2011 – to include statistical neighbour comparators
- Ensure there is a tracking system in place to measure progress against targets (to be set with local Health Service Commissioners)
- Correlation with projected population increase
- ‘At What Cost To Young Carers’ Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Feb 2012
- ‘Young Carers and Education’, Aldridge and Becker 2003 Carers UK
- 2001 National Census
- "Hidden Army" of young carers could be four times as high as official figures. BBC Press Release 16.11.2010
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