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3.5.3 Young Carers

This chapter was added to the manual in October 2017.


  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. The Young Carers Needs Assessment Team
  3. Support for Young Carers
  4. Aspects of Assessment

1. Introduction and Overview

Young carers are children and young people under 18 who often take on the practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

They may have these responsibilities in respect of a child or an adult.

Young Carers may have to prepare meals, look after money matters, give medicine, translate, arrange appointments or take care of a relative's hygiene. Also caring for someone often means giving them emotional support. It can be a lot of work for anyone to handle, especially when you have school or work at the same time.

Children and young people who are carers have the same rights as all children and young people and should be able to learn, achieve, develop friendships and enjoy positive, healthy childhoods.

2. The Young Carers Needs Assessment Team

The County Council's Young Carers Needs Assessment Team will ensure that the needs of young carers are recognised and offer all young carers an assessment of their current and future needs. This means taking account of their hopes, aspirations, strengths and achievements, as well as the need for advice and support for the whole family. The assessment is an opportunity for the young carer to be listened to by others.

3. Support for Young Carers

The Young Carers Needs Assessment team works across Cambridgeshire. The Young Carers Assessors will act as a lead professional for the young carers if the family is not involved with services or does not have an Early Help Assessment (EHA) in place, and will offer information and advice about local support services for young carers.

4. Aspects of Assessment

The assessment will consider the following in determining how best to offer support:

  • The amount, nature and type of care which the young carer provides;
  • The impact of the caring role on the young carer's wellbeing, education and personal and emotional development;
  • Whether any of the caring tasks the young carer is performing are excessive or inappropriate having regard to all the circumstances;
  • Whether a needs assessment of the cared for person (child or adult) has been carried out, and if not, to request one;
  • Whether any of the young carer's needs for support could be met by providing support or services to the person cared for (by the young carer);
  • What the young carer's needs for support would be likely to be if he or she were relieved of part or all of his or her caring role and whether the young carer has remaining unmet needs.

The regulations allow for a young carer's needs assessment to be combined with any other assessment of the needs for support of the young carer, the person cared for, or a member of the young carer's family.

The young carer and their parents must be given a written record of the assessment. A written record should also be sent to anyone else at the request of the young carer or their parent, for example a young carer service.

An assessment can be refused if:

  • The young carer does not appear to have needs for support;
  • The local authority has already carried out an assessment of the young carer's need for support connected with their care for a particular person and circumstances have not changed.

Where a Young Carer appears to be at risk of Significant Harm, then the appropriate safeguarding procedures must be followed immediately.

Further information about the team can be found at Young Carers Needs Assessments (Cambridgeshire County Council website).