Young carers are children and young people aged under 18 who help look after or support a family member or friend who is disabled, ill or misuses drugs or alcohol. The child or young person may help with practical tasks or emotional support for the disabled or ill person or others in the family or household. If you recognise yourself in this description you are a Young Carer. As a young carer, you have the right to an assessment of your help and support needs from Norfolk County Council. It doesn’t matter who you care for, how much, or what kind of care you provide or are planning to provide in the future. If caring is affecting your health, education, friendships or social life you are entitled to a young carer needs assessment.
Young Carers rights to be assessed come mainly from the Children’s Act 1989 and the Children and Families Act 2014. As part of the whole family approach, if there is an adult being cared for, then the local council has a duty to consider whether there are any children involved in providing that care, and if so, what the impact is on that child.
The Council have a duty to assess ‘on the appearance of need’ (without a ‘request’ having to be made) and the assessment must involve you as a young carer, your parents and any other person you would like to be involved.
The assessment covers:
· How caring affects you, both physically and emotionally. How it affects your progress at school, college or work.
· How caring affects your social life, friendships and leisure.
· Whether or not you want to continue caring, and whether it is appropriate for you to continue caring.
· Any education, training, work or recreational activities you do or want to do.
Where your eligible needs are identified as requiring support, local councils will have to either provide support directly to you or show that the ‘cared for person’s’ assessment has provided adequate care and support to prevent inappropriate care being required from you.
More information is in this factsheet produced by Norfolk Young Carers Forum and Carers Trust.