Feb 04 2014

Guest Post: Action for young carers

harrowcarers_logoOver the last few weeks we have been talking to young carers about their role and how we can improve our services to give them more support.

More young people are caring for us than ever and post school they are twice as likely to be not in education, training or employment. In Harrow 2,308, under 24, are looking after family members who are ill, disabled or have another need for support. This isn’t the whole picture – we know many more go unidentified.

This year the council is planning changes to carer services and how these are funded. The council has the chance to ensure the right support is provided to young carers and their families and ensuring closer integration with health, schools, GPs and social care. We believe it is only through the strength of partnership work with colleagues in health and social care that we will improve support in future.

Nine in ten young carers say our services improve their confidence and help them to cope. Others say our services “Give them the reassurance that there are others out there just like me”.

The council has said it’s committed to personalised support through the integration of health and social care. It has also said it’s committed to listening young people before service contracts are designed. For the sake of young carers in Harrow we know about, and the many more we do not, we hope so.

Yours Sincerely

Harshad Mehta

Chair of Trustees Harrow Carers


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  1. sonoo malkani

    As a long-term Carer and ex Vice Chair of Harrow Carers (many years back) I am acutely aware of the tremendous service provided by YOUNG CARERS.So many dedicate their lives to their loved one/parent and lose out educationally and even go without proper sleep or holidays etc which are so essential for their health and well-being.

    Many anecdotal stories would move us to tears.It is a life of sacrifice and sheer love which often goes unrecognised.Harrow Carers try really hard to plan and have projects to provide the best possible support for those already on their books.They are always looking for other Young Carers who are “hard to find”.

    I am acutely aware that a fair number are still “invisible” and need support but are reluctant to seek it.We must ,as a progressive and caring society, make sure that they are not forgotten or left behind and must devise some effective strategies to motivate them to take whatever help is available and is actually their right.Here is one group of youth who only focus on responsibilities and tend to forget their rights!More outreach would help identify these youngsters who have a life-time ahead of them and are starting out with a heavy load.

    YOUNG CARERS are enormously valuable and must be catered for in the best possible way.I hope we will be doing our bit in the community along with the Local Authority to provide the best possible care for the needs of this extremely vulnerable group.

  2. Harrow Carers (@harrowcarers)

    Thank you Sonoo for your comments.

    Ben White our Children’s Support Service Manager, is currently engaging with key partners and stakeholders across Harrow to design a strategy that best supports and recognises the importance of identifying and supporting young carers.

    1. sonoo malkani

      I am aware of the excellent work which Ben White and his team conduct with so many partners and stakeholders across Harrow and can only wish he gets the maximum support possible for our invaluable group of Young Carers.Good luck all.

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