Skip to main content

Care Services

Volume 700: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to improve the support for young people with caring responsibilities. [HL2634]

The cross-government review of carers now underway is a welcome opportunity to re-assess the support available to young carers. As part of the review, young carers have been consulted, and stakeholder bodies with knowledge of the issues are fully engaged. We look forward to receiving the review's final recommendations. A new national carers strategy is due to be launched later this spring.

In the interim, to secure early progress on an issue already highlighted in the review, we are providing an additional £3 million over the next three years to extend our planned Family Pathfinder programme, enabling selected areas to model and test better forms of preventive support around families with young carers. The main aim is to ensure that sufficient support is available around the person cared for and the family so that children do not fall into inappropriate caring roles. Over the next three years, the pathfinders will provide invaluable learning which will be shared across all areas.

To build capacity and improve the quality of support offered to young carers across the range of local settings, the DCSF is also currently funding the Children's Society and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers to develop new, broad-based guidance on whole family working and good practice principles in relation to young carers. Based on that guidance, training and awareness-raising events will begin shortly and will reach all regions over the next two years.