Young Carers' Community of Interest E-Update 

January 2016

Today is Young Carers Awareness Day 2016

Young Carers Awareness Day is a national day of recognition for the 700,000 young carers in the UK who work around the clock providing care and support to family and friends.
Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide unpaid care to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.
Carers Trust is excited to have in the pipeline some fantastic new research and a creative social media 
Carers Trust want to use Young Carers Awareness Day to get everyone talking about the thousands of carers who are so often unidentified, and who miss out on vital services and support they are entitled to. They aim to communicate who young carers are, what they do and what they have missed out on in their childhoods as a result of their caring role.
With the general awareness and understanding of young carers increased, children and young people with caring responsibilities should then be more easily identified and helped, along with their families, to access the right support.  To find out more go to the Carers Trust website.

Launch of a New Guide to Health Conditions for Young Carers
To mark Young Carers Awareness Day, Voices Northumberland are launching a new Young Carers Conditions Directory. 

Voices Northumberland have been committed for a number of years to championing the voice of young carers in Northumberland.  As part of this work, we have run young carers focus groups asking young people to share their views and experiences of being a young carer in Northumberland; summarised in the report Our Voice May 2015.
During recent sessions, young people in Northumberland particularly highlighted the need for more information for young carers.  The question was asked ‘What would you like more information about?’  The majority of young carers said they would like more information about the condition of the person they care for.  This led us into a piece of work funded by Carers Northumberland to develop a directory of conditions aimed at young carers which was both accessible, accurate and informative. 

The directory can be accessed on the VoiCeS website or the Northumberland Young Carers website

If you have any comments about the directory, you find a condition missing that you would find helpful or you would like further information please do not hesitate to contact Caroline Friend

Triangle of Care for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers

In July 2010, the Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Acute Mental Health Care was launched. It has since been updated in 2013.

The Triangle of Care approach was initially developed by carers seeking to improve carer engagement in acute inpatient services.  It has been successful in effecting positive change for carers by encouraging joined up working between the carer, service user and professionals. It has now been extended to cover all services within a mental health service whether they be an inpatient, community or specialist service. Carers frequently report that their involvement in care is not adequately recognised and their expert knowledge of the ‘well person’ is not taken into account.    
Since the inception of the Triangle of Care it has been recognised that there is a key gap within its application – supporting young and young adult carers. It has long been acknowledged that young and young adult carers are under recognised and under identified within mental health services, and as a result are often under supported. There are several identifiable reasons as to why this occurs including:

  • lack of their physical presence within adult mental health services,
  • services users reticence in stating they have a child or young person involved in their care,
  • mental health professionals’ concerns about how to support young and
  • young adult carers and a lack of time and resources available, to name but a few.
In order to gain a better understanding of the needs of young and young adult carers caring for someone with a mental health problem, The Carers Trust carried out consultations with young and young adult carers, young carer workers, mental health professionals and service users across England. It became apparent that there were some common themes – namely that young and young adult carers are under recognised and under supported throughout their caring journey. It is the culmination of the views of all these groups that provided us with the wealth of lived experience that was needed to inform this resource.
As a result of these consultations, Carers Trust has developed the Triangle of Care for
Young and Young Adult Carers as a supplementary guide to sit alongside the Triangle of Care. The guide has highlighted where considered adjustments are required to the approach of the Triangle of Care and its six standards in order to meet the specific needs of young and young adult carers. They have also included reasoning as to why and some solutions to the challenges.
Valuing Care 2015 – The Rising Value of Carers Support Report
Carers Trust new research has found that the value of the contribution made by carers in the UK is now worth a staggering £132 billion each year.  That's a fifth of UK Government spending, and almost as much as the value of UK health spending.
Valuing Carers 2015 – the rising value of carers’ support is the third in a series of research reports looking at the value to the UK economy of the support provided by unpaid carers.
The report includes figures for all local authorities (England, Wales & Scotland) and Health & Social Care Trusts (Northern Ireland).
The report makes five recommendations:
1. Urgently address the under-funding of social care
2. Improve financial support for carers
3. Promote a carer-friendly NHS
4. Introduce a right to paid care leave
5. Recognise flexible and affordable care services are a condition for carers to stay in work
The economic value of unpaid carers in Northumberland in 2015 was an amazing £722 million.
Military Young Carers
An interesting recent report into the needs of military young carers can be found here.

Know your Rights: Support for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers
Young carers and young adult carers in England have worked with Carers Trust to produce a new guide which explains the rights that they now have to an assessment of their needs from the council.
Check out the guide and find out more.
New Babble video for schools
Currently being shown on the Life Channel, the new film from Babble is a great resource you can share within your setting to help explain who young carers are and how they can get support.
Take a look at the film and see how you could use it in your setting.

Do you have any information, articles or reports that you would like added to the next community of interest e-update? 
If so, the deadline for submissions is Friday 26th February 2016 to


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