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Young People: Carers

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding was provided for young people who care for family members in each of the last three years. (137038)

[holding answer 16 May 2007]: As part of their general funding, local authorities have substantial resources to fulfil their responsibilities towards children and families. They also receive the Carers Special Grant which supports local authorities in providing breaks and services for carers in England. Department of Health guidance indicates that councils should consider spending around 20 per cent. of their allocation on young carers and those caring for disabled children. The Carers Grant was £125 million in 2004-05, £185 million in 2005-06 and £185 million in 2006-07. It is worth £185 million in 2007-08.

The Vulnerable Children Grant, which identified young carers as a vulnerable group, was allocated to local authorities on a formula basis. It was worth (including matched funding) a total of £84 million in 2004-05 and 2005-06. From 2006-07 onwards, the grant is no longer separately identified within DfES funding to local authority children’s services. Within their overall provision, local authorities with children’s services responsibilities are free to make spending decisions in accordance with their own assessment of local needs and priorities. Out-turn expenditure information on individual vulnerable groups is not collected centrally.

The Government have also funded the Children’s Society to provide the “Young Carers Initiative” at a rate of £80,000 over each of the three years up to 2006-07. The successor grant for 2007-08 to 2009-10 has been substantially increased. The grant for 2007-08 will be £205,651.