FOI Request - Young Carers
The information requested relates to young carers who are recognised as having additional support needs under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004. I request the following information:
(1) How many children and young people in the authority area do you regard as being young carers?
(2) How many children and young people are currently assessed as carers under
(a) Section 12AA(1) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and/or
(b) Section 24(1) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.
(3) In respect of the numbers of children and young people in (1) and (2) above, I seek the following information:
(a) The number in respect of whom the local authority has determined that they have additional support needs in terms of Section 1 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, and
(b) The number who have a Co-ordinated Support Plan, in terms of Section 1 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004.
(1) We do not keep a register of all young carers, recognising that some young carers either do not wish to be known as young carers, or do not want or need support in their caring role. Our strategy (http://www.moray.gov.uk/minutes/data/HC20110413/Item%206-Appendix.pdf) recognises the probability that the number of children and young people providing unpaid care to family or household members in Moray lies proportionately within the range of estimates for Scotland, from the 16,700 in the 2001 Census to the 100,000 estimated by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (see extract below*). The strategy includes a focus on the importance of increasing the capacity of staff in both education and social care services –
a) to recognise when a young person may need support, including as a consequence of a caring role and/or as a consequence of the difficulty, illness or disability of a family or householder (regardless of whether the young person carries caring responsibilities) and
b) to respond appropriately, so the young person knows about and can choose from the support that is available, or, if the child or young person is at risk of harm, the appropriate planning – within the GIRFEC Practice Model – takes place.
We are in the process of appointing a temporary project officer to develop that capacity over the next two years, with support from NHS Grampian.
(2) At the 31st March 2013 there were 106 young carers currently registered with and receiving a service from our contracted provider of services specifically to young carers. There will be other young carers receiving an integrated, multi-faceted service from the local authority and its partners, but neither the Social Work nor the Education databases is currently set up to be able to distinguish those who have a caring role from among those with complex needs, and present this as statistical information.
(3) The database used by schools in Moray is currently able to accommodate information about an individual child – for example in relation to their having a caring role or being affected by the illness or disability of a family member – within a “notes field”, in order for this to be taken into consideration by teaching and pastoral staff.
Information recorded in this way cannot be extracted as statistical information.
Within the aforementioned project, consideration will be given to securing an enhancement to the database structure enabling the recording of a “young carer” category, subject nevertheless to the caveat articulated in our strategy that the choice to be identified as a young carer in this way should rest, under most circumstances, with the young person.