Jenny Frank and Julie McLarnon
The Children’s Society
The purpose of this book is to “help practitioners working with young carers and their families to provide better support for them”. This help recognises the disadvantage that young carers are exposed to, sometimes inadvertently by professionals. The philosophy of the book is that young carers are first and foremost children and that practitioners need to do their utmost to promote this.
The book is divided into three clear sections firstly, the background and context to being a young carer, including acknowledging the gross underestimate in the 2001 census of the number of young carers in the UK. Secondly, the summary of legislation and guidance which surrounds practice with young carers and thirdly, six key principles of practice.
These principles are the core of the book and encourage practitioners to think deeply about the context of young carers and working in partnership to balance the needs of the child and the dependent adult or sibling. These principles, which range from micro to macro, are thought-provoking and should provide a positive framework promoting the outcomes for young carers.
Jane Reeves is research lead in the Department of Family Care and Mental Health at Greenwich University
Published in the 26 March edition of Community Care