“Staggering” number of young unpaid carers in Barnsley
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Polling carried out by YouGov in May 2020 found that there are an estimated 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK – and 20 per cent are aged between 18-24 years old.
Barnsley Council’s cabinet met today (September 7) to approve a new strategy to offer more support to unpaid carers across the borough.
The new carers strategy was formed through feedback from carers in the borough, who told BMBC how they could be supported, and the challenges they face.
According to a report to cabinet, the current service supports eight per cent of the estimated 27,000 unpaid carers in Barnsley.
The new strategy will “have a strong emphasis on targeted prevention and early intervention with a key aim of preventing, reducing, or delaying carers needs from developing into crisis situations and requiring support from more costly interventions.
“Central to this approach will be a focus on the wellbeing and independence of the carer,” adds the report.
Speaking during today’s meeting, councillor Trevor Cave, cabinet member for childrens services said: “Barnsley relies on its army of volunteers.
“Our carers are unpaid, often unseen, often unrecognised. This is an ambitious programme to try and improve the services and support that our carers need.
“There’s a staggering number of young people and children who are part of that cohort of carers in Barnsley.
“It’s not good that the national statistics are out of date when it comes to identifying the numbers of carers
“Hundreds of children in Barnsley are having to deal with and support people with complex and often challenging needs.
“We need to do more to help carers with respite. And we need to do much more to ensure that safeguarding concerns are addressed both for adults and children.
The strategy aims to recognise carers at the “earliest opportunity”; help carers understand their rights and have access to an assessment; and “Be enabled to have a life outside of their caring role and be supported to work or undertake training and education opportunities if they wish to do.”