SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter highlights the issues of children and young people who support members of their family, and seeks to define who and what this means.RELATED GUIDANCE
AMENDMENTThis chapter was reviewed and amended in May 2016 and identifies that a young carer's Needs Assessment can be completed in one of the existing assessment frameworks in use (see Section 2, Recognition).
The Regulations that currently relate to young carers are contained within the Young Carers (Needs Assessments) Regulations 2015 and came into force on 1st April 2015.
Under the Children and Families Act 2014 the definition of young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person. The concept of care includes practical or emotional support, and 'another person' means anyone within the same family, be they adult or child.
This definition allows more children than under previous legislation to qualify as young carers and be entitled to a needs assessment.
This definition still excludes children providing care as part of contracted work or as voluntary work.
The Local Authority is expected to take 'reasonable steps' to identify which children in their area are young carers, and if they have the need for support. The Local Authority must carry out an assessment if it appears that the young carer has the need for support. This assessment is called a Young Carer's Needs Assessment. In Merton, this assessment take could take place at an Early Help Stage, Enhanced Level or Specialist Level and could take the form of a CASA or Single Assessment /Child and Family assessment.
The local authority must carry out a young carer's needs assessment in a manner which is appropriate and proportionate to the needs and circumstances of the young carer to whom it relates.
Whoever carries out the assessment must be:
In carrying out the assessment, the local authority must, in particular, have regard to:
In order to ensure full and meaningful participation in the assessment process, the following people must be provided with information about the manner and form of the assessment prior to the start of the assessment, and in a format which is accessible to the young carer:
Overall, the Young Carer's Needs Assessment must consider the impact of the needs of the young carer's family on the well-being of the young carer and any child in that family and, in particular, on their education and personal and emotional development.
Specifically it must determine the following:
The assessment must identify the young carer's friends and family, and consider how those persons can contribute to meeting the outcomes which the young carer seeks from the assessment.
The local authority must consult with persons with expertise and knowledge in relation to the young carer as part of the assessment process.
The regulations allow for a young carer's needs assessment to be combined with any other assessment of the needs for support of the young carer, the person cared for, or a member of the young carer's family. They also allow account to be taken of any other assessment which has been carried out in relation to the needs for support of the young carer or the person who is cared for and which the authority consider to be relevant.
The young carer and their parents must be given a written record of the assessment. A written record should also be sent to anyone else at the request of the young carer or their parent, for example a young carer service.
An assessment can be refused if:
Where a Young Carer appears to be at risk of Significant Harm, then the appropriate safeguarding procedures must be followed immediately.
Only valid for 48hrs