Young Carers Support Services

Closed 16 Feb 2019

Opened 3 Feb 2019

Feedback updated 24 Jun 2019

We asked

The aims of this stakeholder engagement exercise were to identify areas of success and improvement in young carers support services funded by Warwickshire County Council.


  1. Understand the most significant impact a caring role has on young carers and their families in Warwickshire
  2. Understand the most important changes that young carer support has made to young carers, their families, and the ability of other stakeholders to identify and support young carers
  3. Understand what is it about the current support services that caused those positive changes
  4. Identify support gaps and views on how current support could be improved

The target audiences were:

  • Young carers
  • Parents or family of young carers
  • Schools
  • Warwickshire Young Carers (the current provider)
  • Other interested individuals or organisations

You said

The engagement exercise involved

  • 275 young carers  attending 11 focus groups
  • 124 respondents to an online survey, mainly parents of young carers, but also some schools, Warwickshire Young Carers (the current provider) and other interested individuals and organisations
  • 28 young adult carers (18 to 25 years) from a previous engagement exercise the current provider undertook during two events, July 2018 and September 2018

Key messages:

  • The impact of caring responsibilities on young people varies significantly depending on the availability of additional support, the needs of the cared-for person, and the young carer’s individual circumstances (age, school, location etc.). Some young carers feel extremely positive about their caring role, while others experience a range of detrimental effects.
  • Young carers are clear that they need more support at school. Most do not feel understood or well supported at school, and others experience bullying linked to their caring role. Young carers want someone at school who understands them; who understands how caring responsibilities can make school harder, and for bullying to be dealt with more effectively. Most young carers want better pastoral support - to be “understood” - but extra help in lessons, for homework and for exam revision, were also mentioned.
  • Young carers and their parents overwhelmingly said that regular young carer groups are an essential source of support, and have a significant and positive impact on their lives. Meeting other young carers like themselves helps them to feel less isolated and alone. Groups are an opportunity to socialise, have fun and enjoy rare time away from their caring responsibilities. The groups act as a gateway to further specialist support, information and advice, once trusting relationships have been established.
  • Mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety and depression were the most commonly reported negative effect of caring responsibilities. Although young carers said that group attendance helps to manage these issues, many requested easier access to additional mental health support, such as counselling.
  • Common suggestions to improve group provision included more frequent groups, groups in school holidays, more outdoor activities, and help with transport to attend.
  • Warwickshire Young Carer staff reported they are working near capacity, so their ability to support a larger number of young carers through the existing service model e.g. by facilitating larger or more frequent groups, is limited.
  • A parent and social worker expressed the view that young carer support is dependent on group attendance. The support given to those who cannot, or don’t want to, attend group sessions needs consideration.

Recommendations for service specification:

In line with Warwickshire’s One Organisational Plan to use resources differently and transform the way we commission and deliver services, the Young Carers Support Service specification is being revised to take a more outcomes-focused approach. It is recommended that the following areas are considered throughout the redesign process:

1. An emphasis on partnership working with other stakeholders, including schools, to develop a better understanding of the impact of caring responsibilities on young people’s lives.

  • The provider should explore creative ways of raising awareness of young carers, and supporting schools to develop an in-house support offer.

2. The development of a robust targeted offer, making best use of signposting, community support, and digital resources in order to:

  • Enable those young carers not attending group provision to access information, advice and guidance.
  • Enable the provider to manage demand as larger numbers of young carers are identified as having support needs.

3. Improved pathways to access mental health support

  •  The provider should work with young carers to develop personalised support plans for issues that affect them most, for example, helping them to manage stress or anxiety through relaxation strategies.
  • This process should include assessment and review using an appropriate tool e.g. PANOC

4. Continued opportunities for peer support and social activities, either through group provision or creative alternatives.

5. A robust assessment process to ensure that young carers with the greatest levels of need access timely targeted interventions as part of an enhanced programme of support.

  • To make best use of resources, individual reviews should also be conducted at appropriate intervals to ensure the allocation of targeted support remains proportional to assessed levels of need.

We did

The most important insights and recommendations from the engagement report were agreed by the Warwickshire County Council Children’s Commissioner and incorporated into the re-drafting of the service specification for Young Carer Support Services.

The revised service specification is being used to tender young carer support services, start date 1st October 2019, as part of a three year contract (plus two year extension, subject to performance).

Results updated 17 Jul 2019

Your feedback was analysed and combined with 11 focus groups of young carers into a Stakeholder Engagement Analysis Report. This is available for you to read below. The most important insights and recommendations from this report were agreed by the Warwickshire County Council Children’s Commissioner ahead of the re-drafting of the service specification for Young Carer Support Services.

The revised service specification is being used to tender young carer support services, start date 1st October 2019, as part of a three year contract (plus two year extension, subject to performance).

In summary, your feedback has helped shape what council funded services will support young carers over the next three years, and potentially beyond.



The vision for Warwickshire is for all young carers in our area to be recognised and valued, and services to be in place to assist them in their caring role. 

We aim to do this by providing a wide range of services including information, advice, training, emotional support and advocacy. Because public money pays for some of these services we have a responsibility to regularly review whether we are providing the best support for the money available.

This survey aims to gather your experience and opinions on how young carers are supported in Warwickshire and is an opportunity for you to have your voice heard and suggest improvements for the future.

The survey usually takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

Your answers are confidential, so your responses cannot be traced to you. Your answers will contribute to discussions about how best to support young carers in Warwickshire.

For further information on the survey please contact

Thank you for your participation.

What happens next

This questionnaire is now closed. Thank you to everyone who took time to share their views on how young carers are supported in Warwickshire.


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