Young carers legislation and guidance

A range of policies should instruct and guide your work with young carers and their families. 

While a comprehensive list is given in The Whole Family Pathway resource, some of the most important are highlighted below.

The main international legislation remains the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, setting out the rights of all those under 18 to the best possible outcomes for them.

The Children Act 1989 is the primary domestic legislation that ensures the right of the child to protection, that action is in their best interests and that professionals ensure they take into account the wishes and feelings of the child when undertaking an assessment, agreeing or recommending action.

key carers-specific legislation and strategies:

  • Department of Health (2000) Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families Guidance
  • National Services Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
  • Caring About Carers. The National Strategy for Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
  • The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000
  • Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 
  • Common Assessment Framework

Considering the impacts upon young carers

To consider the particular impacts upon young carers and good practice guidance for supporting the whole family see The Key Principles of Practice and The Whole Family Pathway resource developed by The Children’s Society. 

To consider particular barriers faced by young carers in refugee and asylum seeking families see The Refugee Toolkit.

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