Services fail to reach majority of young carers

While services to young carers have expanded over recent years
services are still failing to reach the majority, according to the
latest research by the Scottish executive.

The report, ‘Young Carers: Assessment and Services’, applauds
the increased awareness of young carers needs among social care
staff, but concludes that there is still “ignorance and a lack of
interest among other key professional groups”.

Social care is criticised on a number of fronts. In particular,
few young carers have had their needs assessed, and “practice
assessments are often superficial and narrowly focused” in spite of
services to young carers being based on holistic models.

The faults in services have contributed to an ongoing reluctance
on behalf of young carers, and their families to seek assistance on
grounds of “privacy, stigma and fears about community and
professional responses”.

The authors of the report call on the executive to address their
findings urgently, and to develop an integrated, multi-agency
national strategy to serve young carers.

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