Making it Real for Young Carers - new report

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Young carers are often isolated and can go unnoticed, without the support they need to have a good life. To make personalisation real everyone in the family needs to be listened to, recognised, respected and supported; this includes young people who take on caring responsibilities for family members.

TLAP has today launched Making it Real for Young Carers; the report has been coproduced by young carers and written in their own words. They explored the six Making it Real themes; through words and illustration they explain what is most important to them. One of the themes is Information and advice; the young carers stressed the importance of professionals being available out of hours, being open and not underestimating their expertise:

"The pharmacist didn't speak to me when I picked up mum's prescription. Doctors don't tell you what's going on. They didn't register me as a carer and didn't explain what services would be available to me." Young carer

No care or support package for a parent or sibling should rely on inappropriate caring by a young carer to make it sustainable. The Government's Care Bill emphasises the need for a whole family approach to assessment and support planning. Looking at the needs of the whole family means being mindful of the caring roles that many young people take on within their families, looking at the support they need to lead their lives and supporting parents in their parenting roles.

Michelle Harper is the manager of Action for Carers Surrey, their Young Carers service helped to coproduce the report, she says:

"Over 100 young carers from Surrey have been involved in the design of Making it Real for Young Carers. We are really proud to have been involved from start to finish. We hope this important new resource enables real change to the way professionals work alongside young carers"

Think Local Act Personal co-chair Clenton Farquharson and key contributor to Making it Real's development, says:

"Making it Real starts a new kind of conversation from the perspective of people who use services. Young carers' voices need to be heard and this work builds links between them and the professionals and service providers who work with them to help us develop a whole family approach to the way we coordinate and commission care and support services."

Since going live in 2012, almost 600 organisations including a third of all councils have signed up to the campaign, which aims to transform care and support based on what real people, carers and families say they need and want.

Making it Real organisations mark their progress and publically share their priorities and plans for action. Most importantly, these plans are developed with the full involvement of the people who use their services and carers so they can be held to account by local populations if they don't deliver on the priorities.