Support for young carers, House of Commons, 12 February 2019

The ability of councils to provide the support needed to all carers, is undermined by the funding to councils and the impact on social care budgets, coupled with increasing demands and increasing costs. We are calling on the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to fund the £3.1 billion shortfall facing children’s services by 2024/25.


Key messages

  • Councils currently support many young carers to continue their caring role through provision of a range of services such as information and advice, home care and respite care.
  • Supporting and improving the wellbeing and rights of young carers is a priority for local government. We recognise that the role of carers in our health and care system is vital and the contribution carers make to people with social care needs is significant.
  • Councils are under a legal duty to identify young carers and carry out impact assessments on the impact of the child and whole family. However, finding young carers is challenging as they are often isolated and hidden from view. The last census puts the official figure for young carers at nearly 170,000, however, research by the BBC and Nottingham University in 2018 suggested the true figure may be four times higher than official estimates claim .
  • The responsibility to meet the assessed needs of young carers is covered by the Children and Families Act 2014. Young carers have the right to a ‘carer's assessment’, which is the duty of the local authority. This assesses the effect on the young carers’ wellbeing, health, education or friendships – and whether they should continue carrying out that level of care.
  • The LGA recently published Supporting Carers a case study guide that outlines some examples of good practice of councils working with young carers.
  • It is essential that carers have the support they need to maintain their own wellbeing and to be able to lead fulfilling lives; to maintain social relationships, undertake education and training, maintain employment, be active community members, and so forth. Councils’ ability to provide this well-being support is undermined by the continued cuts to council budgets.
  • The Government published its Carers Action Plan 2018-2020 in 2018. It is important that local government is involved in the implementation of the carers action plan and that it is fully funded.
  • The ability of councils to provide the support needed to all carers, is undermined by the funding to councils and the impact on social care budgets, coupled with increasing demands and increasing costs. We are calling on the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to fund the £3.1 billion shortfall facing children’s services by 2024/25.

Download the full briefing
Support for young carers, House of Commons, 12 February 2019