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BCP Council Young Carers Offer

What is a Young Carer?

A Young Carer is ‘a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (of any age, except where that care is provided for payment or voluntary work)’

(Section 96 Children and Families Act 2014; No Wrong Doors Memorandum of Understanding 2014)

BCP Council works within the guidance of the ‘No Wrong Doors’ Memorandum of Understanding, relating this to care for any family member who is physically or mentally ill, frail, elderly or disabled.

Many families share tasks and support within their homes. Young Carers are those children and young people who have a wider responsibility within the family than their peers, because of the needs of the person being cared for.

The BCP Council Young Carers Service has the following criteria. A BCP young carer must:

  • be resident in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole
  • be between 5 and 18 years of age
  • have a caring role for a significant adult or sibling in their family and the significant adult or sibling has a chronic illness, either mental or physical and/or disability (including sensory loss). This will also include drug and alcohol misuse
  • be in a situation where there is no other significant adult in the home providing the main caring role, or undertake tasks for siblings, either because a parent is unable to do so due to their ill health or as respite for a parent who has a disabled child. 
  • undertake care and tasks for this significant adult or sibling. The tasks should be over and above what would normally be expected of a young person, e.g. helping the parent with their personal care, getting them up in the morning, getting them washed, dressed, looking after siblings, helping with medication
  • the role of caring may be impacting on the young person's emotional and/or physical health, education or social development.

What support do we offer?

We work with children and young people (aged 5 to 18) who are identified as Young Carers to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Young Carers are assessed to help them get the support they need when they need it
  • children and young people who are young carers have support to develop their aspirations, resilience and self-esteem
  • children and young people who are young carers get peer support through age appropriate developmental opportunities
  • the needs of young carers and their families are listened to and heard and families are supported to develop their family/friends/community networks to meet those needs and to access other services where required
  • children and young people who are young carers reach their full potential and achieve a positive transition to adulthood regardless of family circumstances.

First meeting

We will usually meet with the parent first in their home. We will then meet with the child or young person, usually outside the home (e.g. at school) to find out more about them and what care they are providing so we can work out what support might be needed to help them develop as children and young people. This will include looking at family and friends support networks and services that may be able to help as well as ways that the responsibilities of the young carer could be reduced.

Young Carer and Family Assessment

When a young person is caring for an adult in their family, it is important to ensure that the adult and siblings are also getting appropriate support to help lessen the impact on the children/young people in the home.  An assessment will be done in partnership with the family to clarify the needs of all family members. This will be a whole family approach.

Access to wider Early Help support

We will link the Young Carer into support in their community including access to on-line information and support. The assessment process will explore wider opportunities for one to one and group work support through the young person’s school, community, youth centres as well as the offer to take part in activities through the year by linking in with Young Carer charities, some of whom provide residentials, counselling support and funding for Young Carer’s hobbies and interests.

Access to Young Carers Groups

Where possible we will offer the Young Carer opportunities to be part of a group so that they can socialise with peers who are also Young Carers. Some of these will be provided in local schools and by charities working with Young Carers in the local area but there is also an offer for some Young Carers to take part in BCP Council run Young Carer groups. Access to these groups will be dependent on assessed levels of need. Mostly these will be face to face but where this isn’t possible virtual groups will be set up for Young Carers.

Individual support

There are times that a Young Carer may need additional individual support due to the impact of being a carer, for example to understand the impact of an adult’s/siblings illness or at a time of crisis within the family. The BCP Council Young Carers Worker will provide some time limited support to the child or young person and will help them to identify the right people around them who can offer sustained support. This could be, for example, from a pastoral worker in a school, a counsellor or a youth worker from the local youth centre. Each Young Carer will have a periodic review of their needs to ensure that the support they are accessing is appropriate to their needs.

How to make a request for support

External requests for Young Carers support and assessment should be made via the Children’s Services First Response Hub on 01202 123334 or childrensfirstresponse@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Requests can be made by young people, families or professionals.

BCP Council Officer requests for Young Carer support and assessment (i.e. from Social Workers or Early Help Workers) are to be sent to the BCP Council Young Carers Single Point of Contact, Jeanette Yorke via schoolinclusion@bcpcouncil.gov.uk 

Other support available

Below is a list of charities who support Young Carers across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole region:

MyTime Charity - support Young Carers aged 5 to 18 years including residential opportunities and workshops.

The Honeypot Children’s Charity - support Young Carers aged 5 to 12 years through respite breaks and outreach opportunities.

The Leonardo Trust - help young and adult carers. They offer counselling support to Young Carers and also provide support for Young Carer’s hobbies and interests.

SoundStorm provide support for Young Carers with an interest in music. Young Carers can hire musical instruments. Funding may also be available for musical instruments and music lessons.

Carers UK provides a range of information and advice for carers.

Sibs and YoungSibs provide support for children who are siblings of a disabled child or adult. Young Sibs is specifically aimed at siblings under the age of 18 and their parents. The site has an on-line platform and a chat function for young sibling carers.

Sibs Youth Club is open to sibling carers aged 5 and a half to 17. Children and young people need to register with Sibs before they can attend.

The Mix provide online support for young carers.