Leading UK Carers Charity, Carers Trust, has responded to the report of the Joint Committee on the draft Care and Support Bill.
Dr Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research at Carers Trust, who gave evidence to the Committee, said:
“We are pleased to see the Committee’s strong recommendations on the need to ensure new legal rights for young carers.
“Under the existing draft Bill, young carers will be left with weaker rights than adult carers – an untenable situation. Young carers need to be protected from inappropriate caring roles which can harm their ability to learn and develop in the same way as their peers. Adults’ and children’s law needs to be designed to work together to make sure young carers do not fall between the gaps”.
The draft Care and Support Bill seeks to simplify and consolidate existing statutes. However, this only deals with adults caring for adults - not adults who care for disabled children or for children who are carers. As the draft Bill stands, the legal rights of young carers will remain confusing and inadequate, with the rights of most adult carers being improved but young carers being left behind.
The report suggests the most straightforward solution would be for the draft Bill to be amended to bring in updated legislation for young carers.
Dr Fraser also welcomed the report’s recommendations regarding provision of basics of support: “These are vitally important for carers but often not available - particularly information and advice and independent financial advice.
“We hope the Government will now ensure the Care and Support Bill, and also the Children and Families Bill, are amended to ensure the needs of whole families, including young carers, are met.”