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Information and policies

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Information and policies

As professionals we work with strategies and policies daily.

We need to be aware of the relevant policies and strategies that govern our interaction with young carers, and present information and policies in young people friendly format.

In April 2016, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 enabled us to build on the progress achieved under the Carers Measure and further strengthen the commitment to carers

The Act brings with it enhanced rights for carers. For the first time, carers have

  • an equal right to assessment and support as those they care for
  • they no longer need to demonstrate that they provide significant care in order to have their needs assessed, enabling more people to be recognised as a carer
  • they receive the support available to them. While the onus was previously on carers to request an assessment, the Act places a statutory duty on local authorities to proactively inform carers of their right to be assessed, helping to ensure that no one misses out on the opportunities to which they are entitled
  • once an assessment has been completed, if the carer is eligible, the local authority is required to meet those needs identified and put a statutory care plan in place. 

This will mean young carers have a right to know what services they can have and that all information is up-to-date and easy to find. The Act requires local authorities to ensure this information is easily accessible and clearly signposted. 

Refresh Carers Strategy

In recognition of the need to align the Carers Strategy with the enhanced rights of carers under the SSWB Act, the Strategy is currently being refreshed. Initial engagement has already taken place with health, social services and third sector stakeholders. This will be a strategy developed in partnership with carers’ networks, organisations and carers themselves, building a sense of joint ownership and capturing the issues that matter.  The formal consultation of the refreshed strategy will take place in summer 2017; the views of young carers and young adult carers would be welcomed.

Social services

All carers are entitled to an assessment of their caring situation, as well as current and future needs. This will mean young carers have a right to know what services they can have and that all information is up-to-date and easy to find.

What young carers want

Young carers are very varied in age, background, attitudes and situations. They have a right to information that's up-to-date, easy to find and easy to understand.

This includes what's on, where and when, and information about the support they're entitled to. It also includes information about what policies and plans are being developed.

Article 12 of the UNCRC says children and young people have a right to have their voice heard and to be listened to in decisions that affect their lives.

‘I need to know information about my mum’s medication because my mum sometimes gets so depressed that she forgets to take her tablets.’

‘When people don’t tell me things because they think I’m just a kid it makes me angry because I’m the one caring for my mum’

Information young carers want

Information can seem so obvious, but for many young carers it's a real issue and sometimes incredibly difficult to find or access.

Sometimes policies and protocols exclude children and young people from receiving information due to their age and yet they sometimes need it to help them care more appropriately.