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Fact sheet

Young carers social worker

Young Carers Social Worker: a model from Lewisham Borough Council

Lewisham is unusual in that it employs a Young Carers Social worker within its statutory Children’s Services team. This role complements the voluntary sector young carers service and provides a valuable link between the voluntary and statutory sector.

This service’s aims are:

  • Meet a gap in current service provision by providing one-to-one direct support to young carers and a Children in Need or Carers assessment where appropriate.
  • Family work with parents or guardians around the impact of the caring role for the young person.
  • Facilitation and liaison with other support services.
  • Consultancy role around issues and resources relating to young carers both locally and nationally.
  • Where there is a query or dispute about assessment of need for a young carer, act as contact and facilitation point for Children, Adult Services and Voluntary sector colleagues.
  • Partnership with the Young Carers Project. We aim to provide some groups for young carers. This will initially focus on older carers between the ages of 15-18.

The service is available mainly for young carers who would otherwise fall below children’s services’ thresholds after an initial assessment. So the eligibility criteria for the service include:

  • the young person fits the local definition of what is meant by “young carer”
  • and the young person falls into the local authority’s low or medium priority criteria after assessment

Young carers who fall into the highest priority category of need continue to get assessed for children’s services through the child in need assessment route, like any other vulnerable children. A Young Carer tab has now been included as a stated issue on the SWIFT information system so that all young carers can be identified at referral point.