The purpose of this essay will focus on me discussing the understanding of the diverse needs and risks off individuals with care and support needs and informal carers across Britain. In this essay I will also be discussing the knowledge of legislation, social policies and support services which will meet the needs of informal carers and individuals who requires care and supports needs. I will also show the awareness of contemporary issues which impact on relevant social policies and support for informal cares and individuals with care and support needs.
The term ‘informal care’ includes support (looking after or other ‘special help’) provided to the sick, disabled or elderly in a non-professional capacity. It excludes instances where only financial support is given to the recipient (Kingsfund). According to the NPI (New Policy Institute) informal carers are individuals providing care on an unpaid basis, often to family members. Some will provide a few hours of can each week, maybe shopping for someone who find it difficult to do get out of their homes. And some informal carers provide around the clock care and companionship.
In this essay I will focus on a group of informal carers and the service users. Young carers are the group of informal carers whose age ranges 18 and under. I will be focusing on in this group of care providers in this essay. Individuals with physical impairments and long term conditions are my focus for the service users. According to researcher Alison Petch “the number of young carers in the UK is just over 61,000, with one fifth of them providing more than 20 hours of support a week, 7% are involved in supporting more than 50 hours a week. It showed in the study that their families expect them to increase their caring responsibilities as they become older, in conflict with their own wish to get out more”. Young carers often receive diverse responses from school, some receive recognition and support for their role, but others find it unacknowledged or even penalised.
Some of the needs of young carers and the people they support are to make sure that they get access to the services and assistance they need. They should get the access to the core elements which include the provision of a resource base and the effective distribution of information. Young carers will need their personal dignity which includes treating them with respect. Their physical and mental health wellbeing is also important. Protection from abuse and neglect, this is when we have the Children and Families Act 2014 coming in to place. The Act is to make it easier for young carers to get an assessment of their needs and to introduce ‘whole family’ approaches to assessment and support. They need the chance to participate in work, education and training or recreational activities, Social and economic wellbeing. Young carers will need to get access to training in areas which includes Lifting and Handling, First Aid, Budgeting, Food and Hygiene, where this supports their caring role appropriately. Young carers will need their family relationships and the support that they will get from their family network. They need a break from their caring roles and help with planning their future. On the other hand, the needs of the service users the will be supporting also need to be met. Some of the needs of the service users with physical impairment and long term condition are helping them with their day to day activities. These activities includes cooking, cleaning of the house, shopping, transportation (including going out and moving them form bed, hoisting) and many more. The needs of the service user will depend on the kind of individual situation. There is also the need of respecting the individual’s needs, choices, dignity and privacy.
Informal carers provide their service users with physical support and emotional support for my group of carers which are the young carers. The physical support which the service user receive from the young carers includes the cleaning of the house, washing of dishes, cooking, laundry, hoisting with the support of a family member, emptying of urinal bowls and many more. Some of the emotional support they provide their service users includes the act of respect, love, friendship and many more. In the process of providing all these support it has a lot of impacts on their life. These impacts can be a positive impact on the young carers’ life or can be a negative one. So looking at how this can be a positive impact. Local authorities come out to assess the situation of the young carer to find out their needs and that of the service user. At this point the young carer feels safe knowing that they are been recognised, respected and protected by the authorities. The also start to understand the needs of helping others and also learn how to take care of themselves. They feel closer to the friend member, this helps in the bonding and trust between them. There are also negative impacts on the life of the service user. The young carers will not have a lot of time for themselves and time to spend with their peers which can also lead to some mental and emotional stress. They not having the time to catch up with their friends can make them feel left out and excluded in some activities. They will not be able to take on normal jobs because of the responsibilities. They may start having low self-esteem which can contribute to a low educational performance.
In the UK young carers and the service users get the opportunity to receive access to supports to be able to meet their individual needs. Action for children is an organisation in the UK which provides young carers and their families with the offer of support they need. They provide practical and emotional support to ensure that they enjoy and achieve, just like their peer groups. They also work in close partnership with schools, education welfare, children social care service and GP’s. Their partnership helps in identifying young carers, raise-much-needed awareness of their situation, and offers the support that they need and when they need it. We also have the local authorities such as the council and NHS who provide some formal carers to come in and assist so that the young carer can get time for them and catch up with their peers. These informal carers sometimes come in to help with the personal care and hoisting if needed to the wheelchairs and back to bed. The CarersUK is also an organisation who provides help to young carers and their family. The help in the arrangement of assessments, carers allowances and any other help they can provide. The young carers project also help make sure that the wellbeing and the life style of and young carers is healthy and right. According to the Department of Education “fewer than one in five(19%) parents of young carers helping with the household reported that their child had received an assessment of the child’s needs by the local authority, falling to 13% among those caring outside the household. Nearly two thirds (64%) were not receiving support whether formal or informal. Of those receiving help, the most common source was a young carers project, followed by their school or college.
On the 1 of April 2015, two set of legislation was passed into action. These legislations were to care and support young carers, young adult carers and their families (Carerstrust). These two new laws are the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act 2014. We also have the NHS community Care Act 1990, Children Act 1989 with the main aim of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of a child and the Mental Health Act 1985.The aim of the Children and Families Act 2014 is to ensure the cover of young carers under the age of 18. So, this Act should be one of the legislation that covers the safety and wellbeing of my informal carer (Young carers) and the service users (physically impaired and long-term condition). This law also goes on to cover wide range of matters for children and young people and their families. Some of these wide range matters includes adoption and contact, family justice, child care and many more. The Care Act 2014 was passed with the aim to cover carers aged 18 and over. It also covers young adult carers in transition. The policies are clear and simple statements of how an organisation intends to conduct its services, business and actions. Policies help in providing a set of guiding principles to help with decision making. Advocacy is a policy which became a part of the Care Act 2014. It places a duty on local authorities to arrange an independent advocate for all adults as part of their own assessment and care planning process. It applies to the service users and their carer. This is the care and Support Statutory Guidance updated on 9th May 2016 under the Care Act 2014 is available from Department of Health. Advocacy is Chapter 7. Personal Safety policy is put in place to ensure the safety and security of the young carers and their service users. This includes incidents involving violence or threats. It also helps and raising awareness of person safety and security issues by offering training and advice to the young care and their service users.
• Discuss key issues which impact on policies and support for your selected group of informal carers and the people they care for