The report of the Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services
(Document “Z”) provides an annual update on plans to meet the needs of Young Carers within the Bradford district, including the recent re-tender of the service. The work of the Young Carers service is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding 2010, refreshed in February 2014 and 2017 and a Framework of Good Practice. Previous reports have been presented, the last one was in September 2017.
(1) That Overview and Scrutiny to receive Document “Z” for information, note the progress and support continued development in the jointly commissioned service.
(2) That reports continue to be received from the service.
(Cath Dew – 01274 437949)
The report of the Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services
(Document “Z”) provided an annual update on plans to meet the needs of Young Carers within the Bradford district, including the recent re-tender of the service. The work of the Young Carers service was guided by a Memorandum of Understanding 2010, refreshed in February 2014 and 2017 and a Framework of Good Practice. Previous reports had been presented, the last one was in September 2017.
The following questions were asked by members and responses were given :
· The System 1/GPs – Developing flagging system for young carers was recorded as amber (getting started), was this up to date? In response it was confirmed that this was out of date as this was now in place.
· How many schools had signed up to ensuring that a Young Carer lead was in every secondary school and primary school by the end of 2019? All schools had been contacted to identify a Young Carers lead, to sign up to the policy and to ensure that the leads undertook training. Schools that had not signed up would be followed up to encourage them to do so.
· Where there any issues that had prompted the Council to re-tender the Young Carers Service? The service was re-tendered to ensure all contracts had gone through appropriate rigour.
· How were referrals being made? Referrals were being made through school nurses and work was taking place to promote the service through local radio stations.
A number of young carers attended the meeting and outlined the help they received from the current provider Barnardos for such things as bullying, family problems and personal problems.
· What was being done to include special schools, colleges and universities? When a young person moved to college the service would liaise with the college. Special Schools, colleges and Universities could be contacted. It was pointed out that the new provider Carers Resource worked with adults and had links with colleges and universities.
· Why were there a higher number of Young Carers in Bradford South? A lot of schools worked with the service in Bradford South which suggested that the approach was the right one.
· What work was being undertaken regarding the transition to the new provider, Carers Resource? Letters had been sent to carers and staff had been transferred over to the new provider so service users would not see a difference and there would be a smooth hand over.
· Who makes the assessment that caring is inappropriate? The worker would undertake an assessment with the young person and the family. When a referral was undertaken consideration was given to whether they could be referred to other agencies if they did not meet the criteria.
· Was any work being undertaken with parents to assure them that being a young carer was OK and to address their fears that Social Services may become involved? All of the work undertaken with young carers stressed that it was OK to be a young carer and that they had more skills than other young people to deal with things in different ways. Work with parents involved empathy and putting anything that could in place to support their situation. The emphasis to parents was that they were not the only ones in this situation and that they were not alone.
· What work was being undertaken to get a young person to recognise that they were a young carer? Proposals were being investigated into asking a question to identify young carers (a) when adults had a review for long term conditions (b) to link young carers in the household with others in the household (c) by including young carers on the adult carers registers held by GP practices (d) by adding a question about young carers to the routine questions on discharge from hospital. Helping young people to recognise that they were young carers was being undertaken using publicity in schools and youth clubs, by word of mouth, by teachers prompting questions in assembly and through Young Carers Leads in schools.
The following comments were made by members of the Committee:
· The statistical data in the report from Barnados did not show how it was used. A narrative would have been useful especially in the national context of changes and challenges being faced. It was suggested that this be borne in mind for future reports.
· A member was concerned that the requirement to enable young carers to become actively involved in decision making and planning around the person they care for was not being met. It was acknowledged that there was work to do with health professionals to involve young carers when care plans wee being developed.
· It was pointed out that the report from Barnados in Appendix 2 only covered the period 1 April to 31 March 2018. In response it was noted that in the transition period between the current contract and new provider of the service, quarterly reports were being made to the local authority that contained demographic data. It was estimated that there were approximately 69 open cases at that time. A future report was requested including up to date statistics and a narrative on how they were being used.
· It was suggested that the one to one peer support provided by the Youth in Mind “Buddy Scheme” could help young people to recognise that they were young carers and that consideration should be given to linking with schools that had a buddy system to identify young carers.
· It was suggested that links with charities and other organisations that provided support for the terminally ill would assist in identifying young carers.
(1) That the young carers be thanked for attending the meeting.
(2) That a report be presented to the Committee in 6 months to monitor progress of the new contract, including details of what action is being taken to address any issues of concern.
(3) That the Interim Strategic Director be requested to write to those schools that have yet to engage with the Young Carers Service, to encourage them to become involved with providing support for young carers.
(4) That the Committee has concerns about how the early recognition of young carers is picked up and urges officers to increase promotional communications in all schools and health settings and work with the wider community to de-stigmatise being a young carer.
ACTION: Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services