Carers Trust, the UK’s largest carers charity, is set to launch a new guide aimed at helping commissioners with developing local services for young carers and their families.

Young carers are a vulnerable group in health, social care and educational settings, and the National Strategy for Carers states that children and young people should be protected from ‘inappropriate caring’ – undertaking caring roles or tasks that are harmful to their development and wellbeing. 

With current changes to the commissioning landscape, from the new Health and Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups, to personalised support and the shift towards academies and free schools, there is a real need to ensure that appropriate support is in place. 

This new guide has been developed to support commissioners in the development of services for young carers. Structured around the “Understand, Plan, Do and Review” phases of the commissioning cycle, it gives an overview of the key areas for commissioning and offers examples of current young carer services, as well as some of the tools that are proving to be effective. 

Writing in the foreword to the report, Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of the Standing Commissioner for Carers, said: 
 
“This resource offers practical solutions to common problems in commissioning for young carers. It encourages young carers to be seen as strategic partners in planning and offers useful examples of high quality care and support.
 
“With escalating demand for care and support across the health and social care sectors, this resource is truly essential reading – solution focused but also providing a vision of what good care looks like for a growing number of young carers and those they support.”
 
Dr Moira Fraser, Director of Policy and Research at Carers Trust, said: 
 
“There’s already some great work taking place to support young carers, and we hope that this guide will give commissioners a detailed understanding around young carers’ needs and the range of services already available to them. 
 
“A strong understanding of the current landscape will help commissioners to make 
informed judgements about local services that address the critical needs of young carers, helping to protect and prevent them from inappropriate caring roles.”