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Young carers

A young carer is a young person who gives regular care and emotional support to a parent, brother, or sister, or someone else in the family.

There are many reasons why young people do this caring:

  • the person they care for may have physical disabilities
  • the person could have learning difficulties
  • they may have mental health problems for example being depressed
  • the person may have a problem with alcohol or drugs

If you are a young carer

Being a young carer isn’t all about hard work. Many young carers say how proud they are to be carers. However, sometimes it can be hard for a young carer to find time to relax, away from home.

Barnet’s approach to young carers

Our starting point is that children and young people who are carers have the same rights as all children and young people. Young Carers should be able to learn, achieve, develop friendships and enjoy positive, healthy childhoods; just like other children. In Barnet, Family Services and Adults and Communities are committed to working together to ensure that young carers are identified, offered assessments and that the support provided is based on a whole family approach.

The Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 together provide a framework to ensure inappropriate caring by children or young people is prevented or reduced and that the whole family’s needs are met. This means that young carers are recognised in the law in the same way as those they care for, and have a right to request an assessment and support. Mostly this assessment will be through what is known as an Early Help Assessment and undertaken by someone that the child or family already knows (often by a member of school staff) or by a practitioner from the local Young Carer’s Centre, called BYCAS.

To request an Early Help Assessment to obtain the help you might need and ensure that all agencies are working together to support you, please complete a request for Early Help

BYCAS (Barnet Young Carers and Siblings)

Are commissioned by Barnet Council to provide services to Young Carers. They are based at offices in North Finchley but offer support through a range of services delivered across the borough. Services are offered following a registration process with the young carer and parent usually in the home. 

BYCAS website

Services include:

  • Respite clubs which each meet twice a month at a number of venues across the borough, as well outings when possible
  • Mentoring to young carers
  • Signposting to other services (internally and externally) for the family
  • Support through a Schools Liaison Officer at school including help to increase attendance, as well as provision of group support in schools
  • After-school support and tuition sessions provided by volunteers
  • Work in partnership with other agencies in relation to children supported by Social Care or those with an Early Help Assessment, with BYCAS staff often taking on the Lead Professional role and/or being part of the ‘Team Around the Child’
  • Awareness raising of the needs and issues of young carers as well as the services available to support them to a wide range of professionals, such as social workers, school-based staff, GPs and other voluntary agencies.

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