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Step 6: Setting up Systems to Identify, Assess and Support Young Carers

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, helps schools to set up systems to identify and support this vulnerable pupil group.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 09:45
Body: 

To help ensure no young carer slips through the net, schools need to take a proactive approach to identifying and supporting young carers. 

It's difficult to talk to teachers.  It's not easy to explain ... It's always in the corridor or class.  I just don't tell them.
Young carer

All schools should ensure they have agreed procedures in place in place to identify, assess, support and refer young carers and their families.

What guidance is available to support schools set up the appropriate systems?

PDF iconStep 6: Setting up Systems to Identify, Assess and Support Young Carers provides key information about the different systems schools can implement to meet young carers' needs effectively.  

It aims to make it as easy as possible for schools to prioritise which systems they will implement next, by categorising the systems into:  

  • The basics
  • Beyond the basics
  • Best practice
The [peer support] group allowed me to talk in a safe place without being laughed at.
 Young carer

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff. The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

Tools 

What to do next

Once you have set up processes to identify, assess and support young carers, go to Step 7: Raising awareness of school staff about young carers

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Toolkit

Step 5: Acknowledging Young Carers in Principal School Documents

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, supports schools incorporate the needs of young carers in their principal school documents.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 13:15
Body: 

It is vital that schools acknowledge young carers in their principal school documents and proactively communicate these to pupils, families and staff. 

I really do thank [my supportive teachers] for helping me get my uni place and carry on the dream that I had for my careers and not let it get affected by my caring role.
Young carer

Doing so will support the creation of a whole school ethos where young carers and their families are respected and valued. It will also provide clarity about the roles and responsibilities of school staff in relation to young carers, and the type of support available to pupils and their families.

To achieve these benefits, schools will need to take a number of key actions:

  • Develop a whole school commitment for young carers.
  • Develop a school policy for young carers.
  • Revise existing policy and documents to reflect young carers’ needs.

What guidance is available for schools?

PDF iconStep 5: Acknowledging Young Carers in Principal School Documents sets out the key ways schools can incorporate young carers’ needs into their principal school documents.

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff.  The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

Tools 

The following tools aims to make incorporating young carers' needs in principal school documents as easy as possible: 

What to do next

Once you have acknowledged young carers in your principal school documents go to Step 6: Setting up Systems to Identify, Assess, and Support Young Carers.

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Step 4: Introducing a Young Carers School Operational Lead

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers, supports schools to introduce a Young Carers School Operational Lead.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 11:45
Body: 
It would help me if my school understood [the] pressures at home...with extra help I could achieve better grades.
Young carer

To ensure the effective management of the school's provision for young carers, it is crucial that each school's senior leadership team (SLT) identifies a member of staff who will act as a Young Carers School Operational Lead in the school.

This member of staff should understand young carer issues and be clearly identifiable to pupils, families and staff.

What is the role of the Young Carers School Operational Lead?

As part of their wider role within the school. the Young Carers School Operational Lead should: 

  • Manage the school's provision for young carers and their families on a day-to-day basis.
  • Act as the main contact for young carers and their families in the school.
  • Advise and support school staff about how to identify and support young carers.
  • Be the contact point for external agencies, such as the school nurse and local young carers' service,and feeder/linked schools. 

To find out more about the role of the Young Carers School Operational Lead download PDF iconStep 4 Introducing a Young Carers School Operational Lead

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff.  The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

Tools

FileStep 4, Tool 1: Young carers school operational lead duties checklist

This tool supports schools by setting out the actions that need to be carried out at an operational level to ensure the effective identifcation and support of young carers in schools. 

Schools will be at different stages in the journey to implementing support for young carers and to enable Young Carers Operational Leads to prioritise, these actions are categorised into three categories:

  • The basics
  • Building on the basics
  • Best practice

What to do next

Once you have a Young Carers School Operational Lead in place, go Step 5: Acknowledging Young Carers in Principal School Documents.

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Step 3: Securing Commitment of School Leaders

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, provides key information and tools to help you gain the commitment of your school leaders to identify and support young carers.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:30
Body: 

Effective identification and support of young carers in schools requires the development of a whole school approach where young carers and their families feel safe and confident to access support.

It is therefore vital that your senior leadership team (SLT) and governing body understand young carer issues and are committed to meeting their needs. 

What do school leaders need to know?

Once identified young carers have become more confident to reach out for support. As a consequence, attendance has increased as have their school grades.
Young Carers School Operational Lead
  • How the identification and support of young carers forms part of their wider roles and responsibilities
  • Why the commitment of school governors and senior leadership teams is vital to effective identification and support of young carers in schools.  main contact for young carers.

 

To find out more about the securing the commitment of your school leaders download PDF iconStep 3: Securing Commitment of School Leaders

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff. The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

Tools

Tools available to support you to secure the commitment of a school governing body and senior leadership team include:

What to do next

Once you have secured the commitment of your school leaders, go to Step 4: Introducing a Young Carers School Operational Lead.

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Downloads: 
PDF icon Step 3 Introducing a Young Carers School Operational Lead
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Step 2: Reviewing your School's Provision for Young Carers

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, supports schools to review their current provision for young carers.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 09:45
Body: 
When I found out about her family situation I suddenly understood when she was often late...I was amazed at just how well she had done but frustrated that we as staff had not known.
Teacher

Whether your school has been developing systems to identify and support young carers over many years, or is developing or just starting to develop its provision for young carers, a key next step to using this Step-by-step Guide is carrying out a baseline review. 

By reviewing your school's current provision for young carers, you will identify strengths, weaknesses and priorities, and agree actions to be taken forward.

What guidance is available to support schools to carry out this review?

PDF iconStep 2: Reviewing your School's Provision for Young Carersprovides introductory information about:

  • The key members of staff to involve in this review
  • The tools available to support schools to review its provision for young carers
  • How to achieve best practice when reviewing provision

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff. The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

Tools

The following tools have been developed with school staff to support you to review your provision:

What to do next

Once you have secured the commitment of your school leaders, go to Step 3: Securing commitment of school leaders.

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Step 1: Gaining an understanding about young carers

This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, provides key information about young carers for schools.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Education
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 14:15
Body: 
As a young carer you often have many worries which can limit concentration. Young carers should have someone there within school to talk to about their caring roles with confidence and trust.
Young carer

Young carers experience particular challenges that impact on their capacity to achieve and enjoy their time at school.

To ensure your school's provision meets the needs of young carers, an essential first step is to develop your knowledge about young carer issues.

What guidance is available to help me learn about young carer issues?

PDF iconStep 1 Gaining an Understanding About Young Carersprovides essential information for schools about:

  • Who young carers are.
  • The types of activities their caring role might involve.
  • The likely number of young carers in each school and why so many are hidden.
  • The potential impacts of caring responsibilities on a pupil’s achievement and wellbeing.
  • Why a whole school model of identification and support is essential to meeting young carers’ needs.
  • Government’s and Ofsted’s approaches to young carers.
  • Young carers’ rights.

This step is taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff. The steps from this guide are designed to be used in order.

I have witnessed young carers grow from strength to strength once they are identified and support is in place.
A Young Carers School Operational Lead

What to do next

Once you have built your understanding about young carers, go to Step 2: Reviewing your school's provision for young carers

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Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families - examples of practice

Examples of practice - including the National Young Carers Coalition and links to further information.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carersCarers in employment
I work in: 
Carers servicesCommissioning
I work with: 
Young carersSibling carersFamilies
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 09:30
Body: 

Examples of Practice

PDF iconYoung carers talking: Your carers' views on what helps them

This report presents the voice of young carers on the issues that matter to them and their views on current interventions.

PDF iconYoung carers' involvement in a local authority commissioning process

The commissioning exercise enables members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum to have their say on the design of local services, scrutinize bids and influence the awarding of contracts for young carers services made by Norfolk County Council.

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.

National Young Carers Forum

Supported by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society, the National Young Carers Coalition developed two resources to support services set up and run their own local young carers forum to influence local policy and practice:

Links to further information

Working together to support young carers and their families - A template for a local memorandum of understanding between statutory directors for Children’s Services and Adult Social Services.

Recognised, Valued and Supported: Next Steps for the Carers Strategy - published by the Department of Health in 2010.

The Whole Family Pathway - listening to children within a 'whole family' context.

Young Carers Personalisation and Whole Family Approaches 2011 - Young carers: personalisation and whole family approaches (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services / Association of Directors of Children’s Services).

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Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families

Awareness and support for young adult carers has vastly increased along with recognising the importance of dedicated support and services as they grow into adulthood.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carersCarers in employment
I work in: 
Carers servicesCommissioning
I work with: 
Young carersSibling carersFamilies
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 09:30
Body: 

Over the last decade services supporting young carers have evolved significantly. Many have expanded the services they offer from providing respite activities, to delivering more targeted support (such as one to one sessions and advocacy) and more recently to supporting the whole family in order to reduce the caring role of any children in the household.

Support for young adult carers

Awareness and support for young adult carers has vastly increased along with recognising the importance of dedicated support and services as they grow into adulthood. This includes key transitions between children’s and adults’ services and access to further education and employment.

There is now general recognition that the best way to support young carers is to take a ‘whole family approach’. Whole family working involves understanding and addressing the needs of the family as a whole.

This means considering the impact of an individual’s additional needs on the rest of their family and addressing a child’s needs within the context of their family, instead of in isolation.

The need for this holistic approach has been recognised in the new changes to legislation in both the Children’s and Families Act and the Care Act.

Young carers are experts

It is crucial that young carers and their families are involved in the development of services that affect them. Young carers know what would make their lives better and are the experts when it comes to their needs and their caring roles. Young carers’ voices need to be heard. Think Local Act Personal have developed Making it Real for Young Carers to support commissioners with this.

Carers Trust Toolkit: Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families

Carers Trust has written Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families which aims to support the commissioning of services for this vulnerable group in line with the principles of the new legislation coming into effect in 2015 and the Government’s National Strategy for Carers.

The toolkit:

  • brings together into one place key facts about young carers
  • informs commissioners of the needs of young carers and their families and the importance of listening to the voices of young carers when developing services
  • draws together many practical examples of how services are currently supporting young carers and what has been found to be effective in supporting this vulnerable group
  • emphasises the importance of both a ‘whole family’ and ‘preventative’ approach
  • suggests outcomes to aim for and tools for measuring the effectiveness of interventions.

Further information

Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families - examples of practice

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PDF icon Toolkit: Commissioning Services for Young Carers and their Families
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Carer Friendly Pharmacy Pilot Evaluation

The Carer-friendly Pharmacy Pilot was part of a programme of work funded by the Department of Health in its implementation of the National Carers Strategy through the ‘Supporting Carers in Primary Care Programme’.
Area of Care: 
Primary Care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHealth and wellbeingPharmacy ServicesCarers servicesSocial careCommissioning
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:45
Body: 

Reflecting on the Carer-friendly Pharmacy Pilot

 

Evaluation

The Carer Friendly Pharmacy Pilot ended in February 2015 and was evaluated by the Centre for Research, Labour and Inequalities (CIRCLE) at the University of Leeds. You can read the evaluation PDF iconhere. If you have any comments or feedback on the pilot, please email Carers Trust

You can access the resources from the Carer Friendly Pharmacy project by clicking this link

In exploring an area which could be of potential interest to the NHS and local authorities as a nationally or locally commissioned service, the Carer-friendly Pharmacy pilot has been helpful in demonstrating the key role community pharmacies could play in the early identification and support of carers while examining issues such as workload and time requirements in practice. All parties agree that if the Carer-friendly Pharmacy model is to be  rolled out further it will need to be appropriately and sustainably funded for community pharmacy contractors.

Since then, with the launch of the new pharmacy flu vaccination service enabling many carers to have a free NHS flu vaccination at their local pharmacy, Carers Trust has been working with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committeee, the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education and the Royal Phamaceutical Society to develop guidance and resources to help pharmacy teams identify carers for flu vaccinations and, where possible, notify the carer's GP that they are a carer as well. 

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Overview of pharmacies and how they can identify, support and refer carers

Pharmacies hold a unique position in terms of their accessibility, the frequency with which many carers visit their local pharmacy and the supportive and professional relationship they develop with regular customers.
Area of Care: 
Primary Care
Outcomes: 
WellbeingHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesSocial careCommissioningPharmacy Services
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 14:30
Body: 

Pharmacies hold a unique position in terms of their accessibility, the frequency with which many carers visit their local pharmacy and the supportive and professional relationship they develop with regular customers. 

This position puts them in a strong position to support carers – not only for their ability to provide a range of advice and healthcare services, but also to be able to identify carers and refer them on to GPs and local carers services.

Steps to becoming a carer-friendly pharmacy

Pharmacies can become ‘carer friendly’ by taking a few simple steps and by committing to the support of carers. 

  • Ensure all staff are trained to be carer aware, sensitive to carers’ needs and the challenges they face and understand the best way to engage effectively with carers.
  • Ensure all staff are pro-active in identifying, referring and supporting carers.
  • Identify a member of the team to take on the role of ‘Carers Champion’, to lead and facilitate carer referrals and act as a contact point for the local carers centre. 
  • Display posters and leaflets to encourage carers to self-identify.

Other steps you could take include:

  • Ensure there are agreed carer pathways in place, including those associated with the services the pharmacy offers such as Medicines Use Reviews and prescription collection and delivery. Using these carer pathways, the pharmacy will be able to offer a range of existing services to carers in a manner that is relevant to the carer.
  • Pro-actively speak to people using pharmacy services who you think may be a carer, and with their consent refer them to their local carer’s service and GP.
  • Have in place agreed pathways for the referral process – a pathway to services that could support carers to enjoy improved health and well-being and improve their ability to care.
  • Follow agreed procedures to obtain the consent of the carer and, where relevant, the consent of the person they care for, where referrals are being made or where the carer is going to be present while the person with care needs is having a Medicines Use Review or other pharmacy provided services. 

These simple steps could be augmented by local ‘add-ons’, such as pharmacy delivery engagement with carers, pharmacy-based health checks and free flu vaccinations for carers where the pharmacy has been commissioned to do so or where the pharmacy agrees to provide this service free of charge.

Carer Friendly Pharmacy Pilot Resources

The following resources are available to those pharmacies identified as taking part in the pilot, and participants can order additional supplies by contacting your local carers service in the designated areas.

  • posters (A3, A4 & A5)
  • leaflets
  • referral forms
  • badges to be worn by pharmacy staff
  • training attendance certificates
  • training workbooks
  • dispenser for the leaflets
  • dispenser for the referral forms.  

You can view some of the leaflets and training material on the pharmacy pilot resources page.

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