New toolkit to help teachers support young carers

The Children’s Society has created a new toolkit for education and social work professionals, designed to help improve the support they give to young carers as they move to adulthood.

The ‘Young carers transition to adulthood’ pathway tool will help schools and colleges understand exactly what a young adult carer is, the effects their responsibilities may have on them and the help they are entitled to.

As part of the Care Act 2014, councils are required to offer all young carers a transition assessment which enables them to think about their future and the support they may need.

The new tool sets out what a transitions assessment is and includes a number of recommendations for what should be included. This includes taking a whole family approach and making sure assessments are carried out before the young person turns 18.

The tool also recommends that young adult carer can access higher education, employment and training without having to worry about the impact on the person they are caring for. Additionally, mental health and well-being questions should always be included to make sure professionals know how the young adult carers are feeling.

The pathway tool also includes sections on each key issue and helpful solutions that professionals can use to overcome these barriers. For example, one section is aimed at employers and how they can adopt a carer friendly workplace.

Helen Leadbitter, national young carers lead at The Children’s Society, said: “For any young person growing up is a challenging time full of complex issues and big decisions. For young adult carers it can be even more challenging. It is vital they are provided with a holistic package of support so they can move forward with their lives without worrying about the impact it will have on the wider family. If done well, a transitions assessment is the ideal way to accomplish this. However we believe many councils still don’t provide them and sadly where they do, approaches and quality vary widely. This guide is designed to help professionals overcome these issues and raise awareness of not only this vital tool but also how best to carry them out.”