Hard won new rights for vulnerable young carers are a welcome step forward

Young CarerFor far too long, the needs of hundreds of thousands of young carers who do incredible things to look after and support members of their family have been overlooked. They pay a big price with their school work, their social lives, and very often their own health.

The role of carers at any age is still not valued or recognised anywhere near enough. This is despite the strides Lib Dems in government have made recognising carers needs and, for the first time, establishing the right in legislation to have these needs assessed.

But, as the Care Bill for adults and the Children and Families Bill passed through parliament in tandem, many of us realised that young carers were once again falling through the gaps. They were not covered by the new rights in the Care Bill and were overlooked by the Children and Families Bill.

Thanks to the hard work of the National Young Carers Coalition and others, the government this week announced stronger and clearer rights for young carers and new duties on local authorities to assess need. These are a very important step forward and are the changes called for by the scrutiny committee on the Care Bill which I chaired earlier this year, and for which colleagues in both houses lobbied for before the summer. We argued that young carers must be afforded the same rights as adult carers will now be getting in the Care Bill – and I am pleased to say, ministers agreed.

Getting progress on this issue, along with a commitment to joining up with the Care Bill to ensure a whole-family approach to care is fantastic news for those of us who have spent so long campaigning on the need for a holistic approach. Together, this package of reforms should make a real difference to reduce the burden under which too many young people come close to collapse, and is a welcome recognition that young carers’ wellbeing matter too.

Paul Burstow MP was Care Minister until September 2012 and Chaired the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny of the draft Care and Support Bill which reported in March 2013.

* Paul Burstow is Liberal Democrat candidate for Sutton and Cheam and was the MP until the dissolution of Parliament on 30th March.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jul - 11:36am
    "safely to the moon and back" is the key element of President Kennedy's objective. It follows that humans should not be sent to Mars unless...
  • User AvatarPhil B 17th Jul - 10:45am
    Sue - thanks for that, I have to admit I was wondering much the same. I can stretch to the idea that a Liberal party...
  • User Avatartheakes 17th Jul - 9:54am
    I failed to get a comment published about the Cardiff by election, simply saying being a Con/Lib Dem marginal it would be interesting. Was a...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 17th Jul - 9:47am
    @ Michael 1 "It’s the truth that UC was not implemented (or virtually not at all) under the coalition and indeed most of those that...
  • User AvatarGordon Lishman 17th Jul - 9:09am
    Paul Barker: “I don’t want to sound defeatist but”. That statement sounds a but unlikely, considering the tone of your usual contributions.
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jul - 9:05am
    It may be necessary to win Brecon and Radnorshire twice in quick succession. Please be very nice to the local people, even if they are...