Welcome to another week.

A new report published by charity Carers Trust suggests that at least 40,000 carers in the UK are aged eight or under.

The damning report highlights the way in which young carers are being ignored by government, leading to these children having to shoulder responsibilities which are leaving them with mental health difficulties and denying them their childhoods.

A summary of the charity’s recommendations is added below:

1. NHS England should issue guidance for services, clinical commissioning groups
and commissioners of specialist services on improving young carers’ access to
services and outcomes.
2. Local authority commissioners should increase the sustainability and stability of
young carers services and support partnership working between young carers
services and mental health services.
3. Government policies and commissioning guidance on children and young
people’s mental health should include measures to improve young carers’
mental health.
4. The NHS England assurance programme for Local Transformation Plans should
examine whether the plans include measures to improve young carers’ mental
health.
5. The upcoming Government Carers Strategy should include measures to promote
young carers’ mental health and improve their access to mental health support.
6. Health and care professional bodies should increase awareness of young carers
amongst health and care staff so that young carers are identified and are given
access to appropriate support.
7. The Department for Education should assist with the development of improved
support in schools for young carers, for example, schools’ participation in the
Young Carers in Schools programme.
8. The national mental health survey of young people should include questions
about caring roles.
9. CAMHS should collect data on whether the children and young people receiving
services have a caring role and whether young carers are referred to the local
authority for a young carer’s assessment.
10. National and local government should ensure that they meet their duties to
support young carers under the Children and Families Act 2014 and Care Act
2014.
11. All mental health trusts should implement the Triangle of Care for Young Carers
and Young Adult Carers to make sure information and support is given to young
carers.

The Children’s Society also recently published a report on young carers which bolsters the Carers Trust’s own findings.

Our question then, is just this: what would you like the government to do to help these children?

child carer

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