Involving young carers and families in planning, designing and commissioning services is more likely to lead to effective delivery with better outcomes. Young carers know what would make their lives better and are the experts when it comes to their needs and their caring roles. Involving young carers can also provide insight that commissioners might not get by any other means as well as highlighting any gaps in service provision.
Here are some practice examples of how young carers are shaping policy and delivery.
Norfolk County Council ensure that young carers inform the commissioning process through consultation on the service specification and supported involvement in the evaluation of tenders.
Young carers forum to influence activities and services
VOICE YC – which stands for Views, Opinions, Ideas and Choice for Every Young Carer – is the young carers’ forum for Bromley. It provides a place for young carers to discuss issues that are important to them and to influence policy and decisions that affect young people in Bromley.
The Young Carers Service provides respite breaks and activities for young carers, but with young carers right at the heart of decision making, from choosing what activities they do to educating professionals about young carers’ needs.
Young carer delivering training to partner organisations
A former young carer is employed by Blackpool Carers’ Centre as an ambassador to raise awareness of young carers locally and nationally.