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Progress for young carers’ rights – but fight for parent carers continues

08 October 2013

Carers UK warmly welcomes this morning’s announcement from the Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP, that the Government will amend legislation currently in Parliament to strengthen the rights of young carers and their families to receive support.

Following months of campaigning led by Carers Trust and supported by Carers UK, Health and Education Ministers have come together to ensure children and adult legislation is knitted up to make sure that where a child or young person may be providing care, services and support are provided to the whole family to meet an adult’s need for care and prevent inappropriate responsibilities falling on a child or young person.

Both young carers and parents of disabled children were falling through the cracks of the two pieces of legislation. Ministers have intervened for young carers and it is now vital that they do the same to deliver support for the families of disabled children.

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“The changes announced today bring stronger rights for young carers and mean their needs and their families will be considered in a coordinated way. However, to leave parents caring for sick and disabled children with lesser rights to assessment and support than other carers is unacceptable. All carers, whether they are caring for an older parent or a disabled child, should have equal rights.

Parent carers often find it extremely difficult to get services and often struggle to manage care for their disabled child. They should be able to act as a parent not only as a carer to their disabled child, and to other children in their family.

We would like to see the Government act urgently as they have done for young carers to join up the two Bills currently before Parliament so that families with disabled children don’t face greater barriers than other carers to support.”

The Written Ministerial Statement on young carers is available at


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