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Fact sheet

Policy and planning

Any professionals responsible for policy and planning services in their local authority may find the following documents useful:

Commissioning services for young carers and their families (1.3 MB) is a new guide aimed at helping commissioners and those responsible for developing local services for young carers and their families.

(Please note that although this publication is not aimed at those working in Scotland, much of the information, approaches and practice examples should be transferable across the border.)

With current changes to the commissioning landscape, from the new Health and Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups, to personalised support and the shift towards academies and free schools, there is a real need to ensure that appropriate support is in place.

Structured around the "Understand, Plan, Do and Review" phases of the commissioning cycle, this guide gives an overview of the key areas for commissioning and offers examples of current young carer services, as well as some of the tools that are proving to be effective.

Writing in the foreword to the guide, Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of the Standing Commissioner for Carers, said:

"This resource offers practical solutions to common problems in commissioning for young carers. It encourages young carers to be seen as strategic partners in planning and offers useful examples of high quality care and support.

"With escalating demand for care and support across the health and social care sectors, this resource is truly essential reading-solution focused but also providing a vision of what good care looks like for a growing number of young carers and those they support."

To receive a hard copy of the guide, please email

The Practice guidance to the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 states that Local Authorities should have "a protocol, shared between adults and children’s services, for identifying and assessing young carers".

A Model Local Memorandum of Understanding between Statutory Directors for Children’s Services and Adult Social Services

It is now widely recognised that in order to support young carers and their families most effectively, a whole family approach must be adopted, supporting both the individual needs within a family and the needs of the family as a whole. It is therefore vital for children’s services and adult services, health and the voluntary sector to work closer together to achieve this.

Working Together to Support Young Carers offers a model text for a local joint Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] between Statutory Directors for Children’s and Adult Social Services. The aim in preparing the MoU was to offer a consistent and firm basis for improved working together in response to feedback from young carers and parents and for partnership working with health and the third sector. The final text may be varied to reflect local circumstances. Adoption of the MoU approach has received encouragement from Coalition Government Ministers.

MoU Policy & Planning (80 KB)
MoU in PDF Policy and Planning (178 KB)

Delivering Every Child Matters for young carers (406 KB) is a document which sets out the barriers for young carers in achieving the ECM outcomes and how support for young carers can help local authorities evidence that they have met Joint Area Review inspection targets.

Authorities can expect to be asked about their services for young carers in Joint Area Reviews. Furthermore, as the most desirable outcome for the child is that the family is able to find more appropriate sources of care, the vital role of adults' services in supporting parents who have care needs is becoming more widely recognised1.

We recommend that any planning your local authority undertakes for young carers should have a multi-agency approach in order to best support the needs of the whole family.

At What Cost To Young Carers?

At What Cost To Young Carers? An economic assessment of the value of young carers’ interventions for young carers’ affected by parental substance misuse and mental health problems - published 24 March 2009.

Read the full report (336 KB)
Read a summary of the report (563 KB)

1 Fair Access to Care, Department of Health

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