Carers Week 6-12 June 2016
After a highly successful Carers Week last year, planning is already underway for 2016.
Carers Week is an annual campaign which aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
In 2016 we’re going to continue to focus on building Carer Friendly Communities – helping all types of communities to help support carers and their families better.
Carers Week is brought to life by the individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is. Last year, health organisations, local authorities, libraries, thousands of community groups, employers, individuals, carers, politicians, volunteers, businesses, schools, colleges and universities, pharmacies, the media, all got involved in activities helping to build Carer Friendly Communities.
For more information please visit http://www.carersweek.org/
Young adult carers: policy and practice
Carers Trust is championing the contribution of young carers and funding projects as landmark legislation sees local authorities become legally responsible for assessing their needs and providing services to support these needs. Click here to read their report (PDF).
Caring for young carers: How are things? – Jane Cummings
The, Chief Nursing Officer for England, reflects on young carers and the challenges they face. I recently had the privilege of attending and speaking at an event with carers. As part of my speech I pledged that: ‘I, Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, pledge to work with young carers Hannah and Ambeya to write a blog raising awareness of young carers, encouraging staff to consider young carer’s mental as well as physical health, so that signposting to additional support can happen more consistently across the NHS….’ And here it is...
Lili shops, cooks, cleans and helps to look after her disabled mother, and her younger brother and sister. Click here to see her story on the Guardian website.
Free Flame Resistant Smoker’s Lap Blanket
Please click here to download a leaflet for a Flame Resistant Smoker’s Lap Blanket. This is provided free to high risk clients in the community & to care homes by the fire service.
Do you support someone who has a Mental Health problem? ‘Improving Carers’Experience Project’ (ICE) are running free workshops starting January 24 2015 open to anyone supporting someone with depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, personality disorder or similar. We don't cover autistic spectrum or dementia but if anyone isnt sure they are welcome to call and ask! Click here for details.
Contact Jane Lawrence, Improving Carers Experience. M:07483133543 www. iceproject.co.uk
Anti-Bullying Week - 17th to 21st November
A number of charities, including Carers Trust, are combining to draw attention to the extent of bullying suffered by already vulnerable groups such as young carers. For more information please check the anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk and bullying.co.uk websites.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
2014 is the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a declaration that commits signatories – including the UK – to do everything in their power to protect and promote children’s rights ‘to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and reach their full potential’ and ‘to rest and leisure, to play and recreational activities’. That includes young carers.
Looking after Mum - A Children in Need Special (available on YouTube)
In the UK around 700,000 young people are caring for a loved one. While many feel stigmatised, overlooked and even bullied by a society that doesn't understand the difficulties they face, others are fiercely proud and protective of their role. In this film we get to know four young carers, giving us a rare chance to see into their world - a world that can lurch between joy and heartache in an instant.
Click here to watch this programme on YouTube
See also this article from the Daily Mirror which describes how brave youngsters are losing out on their childhood as they are caring for their sick mums.
Law Change Victory for Young Carers
Young Carers in Kent alongside the Children’s Society and the Carers Trust over the last year have been campaigning to get the law changed for Young Carers and now it has happened…twice!
The Children and Families Act 2014 has now reached royal assent and it is the law to ensure that a Young Carer is assessed for support, and assessed again if their support needs have changed. The assessment will find out if the Young Carer is participating in or wishes to participate in education, training or recreation, and the extent to which the Young Carer works or wishes to work.
The Care Act has also received royal assent this year, which is even more positive news for Young Carers. It means every family should be treated holistically to ensure the needs of people being cared for and the carers are identified. The needs and caring responsibilities of children will have to be looked at alongside the adults in the household. This Act introduces a new right for Young Carers aged 16 to 18 who are transitioning to adulthood to have their specific needs assessed in light of how their role might change.
"Hidden army of young carers to be uncovered under new legislation" (The Guardian, 11 November 2014)
Matter - new website & online community for Young Carers
To mark the launch of a new website and online community specifically designed for unpaid young adult carers, the UK’s largest carers’ charity, Carers Trust, has commissioned a poll from YouGov to find out what people would be most prepared to give up if they had to become carers for a family member or friend.
The poll of 2,400 adults found that 20% of respondents were most prepared to give up their social life – second only to those most prepared to give up travelling or going on holiday (21%). And when they were asked what age group first came to mind when thinking about unpaid carers, only 10% of people thought of carers as being 25 or under, the group of carers who are so easily overlooked and who can become isolated, and who the new website - Matter - has been designed for.
The survey shows how important the social aspects of life are to people – the very thing that young adult carers aged 16-25 can find hard to maintain. It was with this in mind that Matter was created, to counter the isolation of caring.
It works like a social media site such as Facebook, while also being a trusted source of advice. It was designed in close consultation with younger carers specifically recruited to help shape it to meet their needs for friendship and information.
Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
Author: Department for Education
Publish date: 30 April 2014
This is the proposed text for guidance that will be issued under section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (duty to make arrangements for pupils with medical conditions), written for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England
This duty comes into force on 1 September 2014. The proposed text has been published in advance by the Department for Education in order to:
- Prepare for implementation
- Understand what will be required when it is in force
The summary of the consultation outcome on the draft guidance has also been published, and is available at this link.
School nurses to take greater responsibility for young carers
(Source: Nursing Standard)
School nurses should be ‘champions’ for young carers and support them in times of crisis, according to new government guidance.
The Department of Health and Public Health England have issued new guidance for school nursing services to help young people caring for family members. Initiatives include nurses wearing badges to identify them as being ready to help young carers.
There are an estimated 250,000 young people caring for family members in England and Wales.
A survey by charity the Carers Trust found that 25 per cent of young carers have been bullied at school because of their caring role, and nearly half did not have a staff member to confide in.
Every young carer should have a ‘crisis plan’ in place so they know what to do if the person they care for has an emergency or if they feel they are not coping, the guidance states.
School nurses should also be responsible for making sure young carers are registered with a GP, dentist and optician.
Health minister Dan Poulter said: ‘Young carers do a fantastic job of looking after their loved ones. We must make sure they get the right help to do well at school and have a fair chance of getting on in the world.’
The government has also published two other sets of guidance, on mental wellbeing and sexual health, which includes information on using new technology to give advice to teenagers.
New Spare Room Subsidy laws for disabled children
New legislation is being introduced to change the Spare Room Subsidy size criteria to allow children with a severe disability to have their own room.
In April this year the Government made changes to Housing Benefit to ensure that it covered households for those bedrooms that people actually need. The new regulation, which comes into force from 4 December 2013, means that disabled children can be considered for a room of their own if:
- They are entitled to the highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
- Their local authority is also satisfied that sharing a bedroom would pose either a risk of physical harm or cause frequent and significant disruption to either the disabled child or the child with whom they would normally be expected to share.
In August 523,000 claimants across the country had their Housing Benefit reduced by an average of £14.50 because they were living in social housing that was too big for their needs.
There has been a steady decline in the number of households affected with a drop of 24,000 between May and August.
There are 2.1 million households on the housing waiting list in Great Britain and 375,000 families who have been living in cramped, overcrowded accommodation in England and Wales alone. But at the same time there were 1 million spare rooms in social housing that were funded by benefits.
The Government is committed to supporting people as they continue to move into work, move into more suitable sized properties, come off Housing Benefit altogether, or look at other ways of adapting to the change.
A recent independent poll by Ipsos MORI revealed that 78% of respondents agreed with the need to take action on underoccupation of social housing.
Comprehensive guidance has been provided for advisers and decision makers to support them in administering both Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.
The new Regulations will also:
- Provide for an extra bedroom where a joint tenant or their partner needs overnight care or is a qualifying parent or carer;
- Change the definition of a ‘young individual’ to exclude those who are approved foster carers – in Scotland, approved foster carers or kinship carers. This is to prevent the shared accommodation rate from applying to single claimants under 35 who are approved foster carers.
Full details of the Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) amendments are available on legislation.gov.uk
(Taken from the December 2013 issue of 'Touchbase' from the Department for Work & Pensions)