Young Carers : Rise In The Number Being Drafted

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Our Lord Kitch must be smiling ? ... 77806.html

Number of young carers in UK soars by 10,000 in four years, figures show.

Exclusive: Surge in number of teenagers caring for disabled relatives prompts concerns pressures on care system is placing ‘burden’ of responsibility on young family members.

The number of recognised young carers in the UK has risen by more than 10,000 in four years, prompting concerns that they are taking up the slack from increasingly pressured adult social care services.

An analysis of the most recent government figures by The Independent shows that in May 2017 there were 41,870 16-to-24-year-olds who qualified to receive the carer’s allowance, compared with 31,080 in 2013 – an increase of 35 per cent.

Those aged 16 and 17 saw an even bigger rise during the same period – up by 54 per cent from 1,400 to 2,150.

While campaigners welcomed the fact that more young carers are receiving financial support, they warned that cuts to care packages and pressures on adult social care services mean more teenagers and young people are having to sacrifice work and study to care for relatives.

Laura Bennett, head of policy at Carer’s Trust, told The Independent: “It’s good that there are more people getting the allowance. It helps support them with the extra costs of caring which can avoid them missing out on other things.”

But she said that for some young carers it was not “easily obtainable or being reduced”.

She added: “This can leave them having to make difficult decisions about whether to stay in work or study, and having to claim carer’s allowance.”

Ms Bennett also raised concerns that the Care Act 2014, which placed a duty on local authorities to consider the needs of children and young people living in households where there is an adult who has a disability or impairment, was not being properly implemented because of a lack of financial resources available.

“We’re concerned that there isn’t enough funding to implement the act, both for young adults and also the people they support,” she said.

She added that this ”can leave young carers unable to pursue their own aspirations because of the amount of caring responsibilities”.

She said: “Some young people don’t experience any problems and can experience a big sense of pride and a sense of achievement. But if they don’t get the right support – which is often the case – it can leave them feeling stressed and worried. It can lead to them not having life chances that other young people do.

“We think a lasting solution needs to be found to the adult social care funding crisis, and we are calling on central government to find that solution so that local authorities have the funding they need to implement the duties they have under the Care Act.”

Responding to the figures, Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s shadow minister for social care, said “Tory cuts” were responsible for a decline in the number of people eligible for publicly funded care.

This meant the “burden” was falling “more and more on young family members”, she said.

She said: “Tory cuts to local authority funding will have seen £6.3bn taken out of adult social care budgets by March 2018 and the impact is clearly being felt both by people in need of care and, increasingly, younger carers.”

She added: “The Tories need to ease the social care crisis by giving the system the money it needs. Labour would invest £8bn across the Parliament with £1bn up-front this year.”

Simon Hopkins, chief executive of Turn2us, a charity that offers grants and advice to people struggling financially, said: “Caring for someone with a disability is a huge responsibility and most people become carers because someone close to them needs and relies on them.

“This combination of need for support and emotional ties can put a lot of pressure on the carer, and so this is a particularly hard situation for a young adult to be dealing with. It is crucial that all carers, and young carers in particular, are given a range of support that gives them the options to learn and work that those who are not carers have.”

Responding to the concerns, adult social care minister Caroline Dinenage said: “Young carers are this country’s unsung heroes, tirelessly providing support for the people they love.

“I am determined to ensure young carers aren’t left behind. While the Government is already taking action to ensure young carers and their families are supported, I am clear we can do more and we will consider this both as‎ part of the social care green paper due to be published in the summer and in our Carers Action Plan.”‎

I will assume that most readers will view the comments made by both the Carers Trust and Barbara Keeley as repugnant ... totally miss the whole issue of the System using young people in the front line trenches with the minimum of training and support ?

Only recently ... Young Carers Awareness day ... pats on head for saving further meltdown in the System or ... a cross party committee to look at the whole issue.

Future prospects ? The 21 Hour Rule comes into play for many ... debarred from trying to improve their future employment prospects by being denied further education opportunities just for being carers !!!

Young carers ... trying to bury the whole issue is fine ... as has what happened over the past 20 / 30 years but ... it is one of those Issues that leaves a very bad taste in the mouth , and strikes at the very heart of the Society we have all created.

One question to end ... " Who acts for the child independently of the System ? "
The point is, family members should not BE carers. They should be living their own lives. ESPECIALLY if they are young an haven't even HAD their own life yet. (But then, in my sixties now, I don't think I've had my own life yet, so I'm not willing to give it up to care either.....)

Paying family members to care is one issue. But that they are caring AT ALL is THE issue.
That " Family Card " again ... how the System uses that to it's advantage to avoid it's own responsiblities to protect the most vunerable members of society.

Don't lose sight of the other side of the equation ... low millions of elderly carers caring for family members even when they are in need of care themselves.

As our Lord Kitch states ... " As young as 5 , as old as 103 , plenty of room for more. "

In the absence of any comments / press releases to the contrary , both our own supporting organisations see " No objections " to this " Status Quo " beyond the lack of support for both ... so that they may continue to care ?
I got really annoyed with a recent programme where young carers were being applauded for giving up everything to care for family members, getting up multiple times in the night, making sure their parents were fine at the expense of their childhood.
In any other situation this would be perceived as ABUSE.
Why aren't the parents protecting their own children?! There should not be one child robbed of childhood due to a disabled family member needing help. OK, many of us have had less than perfect parents, I'm sure I've not been a perfect parent either, but they should be doing everything they can to get help for their needs so their children have a happy childhood.
Reverts back to my question :
One question to end ... " Who acts for the child independently of the System ? "

The Children and Families Act and Care Act 2014 ?

No protection whatsover beyond assessments administered by the LAs.

The underlying assumption is that young carers will care ... support then kicks in.

" Caring is a choice " ... comes back to bite one where the sun doesn't shine ?

As far as the Legislation and the System are concerned , there is NO choice as no alternative is available ???
The Care Act says that anyone has the right to an advocate, arranged by Social Services, if they struggle to have their voices heard without one. If I have one, then anyone can. It's not that I can't speak clearly or am poorly educated, it's just that Social Services either have Cloth Ears or Selective Deafness!!!
Fine ... provided that said Advocate is INDEPENDENT of the System ?

The proposed changes in the Care Act reinforce these new rights by requiring that local authorities:

Must take a whole family approach to assessing and supporting adults so that young carer’s needs are identified when undertaking an adult or adult carer’s needs assessment
Should ensure that adult’s and children’s social services work together to ensure assessments are effective.

This means when a child is identified as a young carer, the needs of everyone in the family are to be considered. This should trigger action from both children’s and adults services – assessing why a child is caring, what needs to change and what would help the family to prevent children from taking on this responsibility in the first place.
What would help the family to prevent children from taking on this responsibility in the first place.

That extract from the above sums it up ... any alternative ?
"What would help the family to prevent children from taking on this responsibility in the first place."

Yes, this is the nub of it. Children shouldn't BE caring for ANYONE else. And, to my mind, neither should parents, either, once their in-need-of-care offspring reaches 18. Tax money should be spent to whatever level is required to provide 'specialised housing with supportive care' for them at 18 (Remember how Eun railed at how the only placements her son was offered were in Old People's Homes?????).

'Out-caring' should be the 'default' option, and if parents DO want to take on the care themselves personally, then that funding should be available to them.

Of course it will cost tax money! But considering what it's always chucked away on (cost of Brexit negotiations for starters, right now - MILLIONS going down the drain!) spending it on the 'less fortunate' in our society by way of health etc, is obviously far more worth the money)
BB, When parents 'exploit' their own children to care for them, one of the explanations I've heard is that if they don't use their children as their carers, since they themselves cannot care for their children, their children will be taken away and put in care homes themselves.....

If that is so, then it's the kind of insane logic that argues the way to 'solve' the problem of child carers is to put the children into orphanages, rather than fork out the money necessary to provide external carers for the parents, to free up the children and preserve their childhoods.....

However, for parents with one disabled child, who uses their other children to help them care, as we have seen on this very forum, that can, indeed, place a huge burden on the 'carer child', both in terms of their time used up in helping care, and of course the psychological one of feeling guilty for wanting their own lives. How did you protect your other son from 'survivor guilt' over his bro-in-need-of-care?