Young Carers

Cornwall's Multi Agency Strategy for Young Carers 

Cornwall's Multi Agency Strategy for Young Carers 2014-16 is currently under review and a new strategy is being developed with a completion date for the end of 2017.

Young carers can be found in all communities and often find themselves excluded from personal and social opportunities, including their education. This can inhibit their development, ambitions and potential to achieve.

Children and young people who are carers have the same rights and access to the same opportunities as all children and young people. They should be able to learn, achieve, develop friendships and enjoy positive, healthy childhoods just like other children.

Young carers tell us that they value their caring roles and are proud of the contribution they are able to make in their families. All too often, however, children and young people become carers because someone in their family has significant unmet care needs arising from ill health, disability, mental health needs or substance misuse. In some cases young carers have assumed a level of responsibility that no child should be expected to take on. This can have consequential knock-on effects on schooling and other key areas of their lives. Caring should not have an adverse effect on children’s well-being and outcomes.

This strategy has also been informed by a range of good practice examples in Cornwall and other local authorities. We have also used a wealth of guidance and good practice provided by national charities, in particular the Children’s Society. It is also underpinned by Cornwall’s Early Help and Raising Aspiration and Achievement Strategies.

The Cornwall Young Carers’ Strategy is challenging and sets out how we will bring about improvements in the way services work together to identify young carers and improve their outcomes. We will do this by building upon our range of existing targeted and early help services.

The priorities for change were informed by listening to young carers and their parents, learning from Cornwall’s 2010–13 Strategy, and were agreed by a range of agencies and professionals that work with children and families, across the statutory and voluntary sector. The strategy sets out what actions need to be taken to achieve our priorities and identifies the resources needed to make change happen.

We are confident that this strategy will continue to build on future joint working and ensures that every child and young person with caring responsibilities has the future they deserve. We will continue to increase our knowledge and understanding of young carers so we can better support their needs.