Increased support for young carers

The Department for Education has announced that children and young people who care for family members are to benefit from a full assessment of their support needs so they receive help and assistance to experience the same opportunities as their friends.

The government has tabled an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, currently making its way through Parliament and details of which can be found at, which will help improve services for young carers by:

  • Extending the right to an assessment of support needs to all young carers under the age of 18;
  • Supporting local authorities to combine the assessment of a young carer with an assessment of the person they care for, providing a coordinated and rounded package of support for the whole family; and
  • Simplifying the law relating to young carers, making their rights and duties clearer to both young people and professionals.

Caring for a family member can have a detrimental impact on the life of a young carer, including their educational achievement. The government aims to improving outcomes for these children and young people, yet research shows that too many remain hidden from the services they need most, partly as a result of these services needing to do more to identify them.

The Government’s announcement, alongside the measures proposed in the Care Bill, is the latest step in ensuring that a ‘whole family’ approach which assesses both the needs of the adult who requires support and the child who cares for them is taken in providing personalised and integrated packages of support to help young carers.

Since the publication of the Department of Health’s revised Carers Strategy, published in 2010 and available at, the government has:

  • Created specific training guides for teachers and teaching staff to enable them to better identify and support young carers;
  • Provided £1.5million to the Children’s Society and Carers Trust to encourage children and adult services to adopt ‘whole family’ approaches to supporting young carers;
  • Supported young carer pathfinders to develop ways of supporting young carers and their families; and
  • Worked with the National Young Carers Coalition to develop the ‘healthy schools’ e-learning module for teachers to help better understand the challenges and responsibilities faced by young carers.