On 13th June 2019 Baroness Brinton asked the Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that unpaid carers receive the support to which they are entitled.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am sure that we all want to encourage stronger family and community life, which is the very bedrock of healthy societies, but there is one group in particular that needs help and that is the 166,000 underage carers in England. Research by the Children’s Society suggests that that is just the tip of the iceberg—indeed, a huge underestimate. Many of these young people do not realise that they classify as carers: it is just what they have had to deal with. In many cases it is affecting their schooling and mental health. What are Her Majesty’s Government able to do to help and support underage carers in particular?
Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford: The right reverend Prelate is quite right to identify this as a crucial issue. The Government believe that children should be protected from inappropriate and excessive caring responsibilities. We changed the law to improve the way that young carers are identified, and we are supporting schools to support carers and working with the Carers Trust to identify and spread best practice. Just today, working with the Children’s Society, which he rightly says has led this project to identify and disseminate best practice, guidance and resources will be published to enable young adult carers to make positive transitions between the ages of 16 and 24. We hope that this will improve the outcomes that young carers experience.