Young adult carers are transitioning from childhood into adulthood. There is no legal age definition for young adult carers, although Carers Trust’s support work focuses on young adults aged between 14 and 25. This means that young adult carers have rights as children, as adults and as young adult carers planning for adulthood.
What new rights do young adult carers have when planning for adulthood?
The Care Act 2014, which comes into force in April 2015, significantly strengthens the rights of young adult carers as they move into adulthood.
The draft regulations and guidance, which have been out for public consultation, propose strong support arrangements for young adult carers as they prepare for adulthood regardless of what support they already receive. The final regulations and guidance will be published in October 2014 and may be altered.
Guidance on supporting young adult carers include that:
- Local authorities should consider how to identify children who are not receiving children’s services, including developing mechanisms with local education providers and health services.
- Local authorities must carry out a transition assessment if a young carer may have needs for care or support when they turn 18. These assessments can also be requested.
- Transition assessments and planning should consider how to support young carers to prepare for adulthood and raise and fulfil their aspirations, including key milestones for achieving their outcomes. For example, where a young person or carer wishes to attend a higher or further education institution, local authorities should help them identify a suitable institution as part of transition planning.
- Local authorities must cooperate with relevant partners, including GP practices, housing and educational providers and this duty is reciprocal.
See the Department of Health website for more information on the regulations and guidance.
Find out more about the government’s National Strategy for Carers.