1st December 2021

Survey launched to shape Somerset services and support for young carers

Young carers, and those who know them best, are invited to have their say in shaping and improving services across Somerset.

Somerset County Council is inviting young carers, their parents/guardians, schools and other professionals working with young carers in Somerset to complete short anonymous surveys by Sunday 21 November in order to gain a better understanding of the services and support provided across the county and how it could be improved.

The four electronic surveys, published this week, can be accessed through this webpage: www.somerset.gov.uk/youngcarers

A young carer is anyone under the age of 18 who provides care for another person by taking on practical or emotional responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

This can include being responsible for the household, including buying and cooking food, managing money or bills, providing physical care such as washing, bathing, and dressing someone, helping to manage medication or being relied upon to provide emotional support.

There are an estimated 1,750 young carers in Somerset but the Council is only aware of, and providing support to, around 330.

Somerset County Council’s Family Intervention Service, schools, local YMCAs and Minehead EYE offer individual and activity-based support for young carers to help make sure they are not taking on inappropriate caring responsibilities that could impact on their emotional or physical health, or their educational achievement.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Lead Member for Children’s Services at Somerset County Council, said: “It is important for us to listen to the views of the young people themselves, so I am pleased to see the launch of these surveys today.

“We want young carers, and the people who know them best, to help us shape services around their priorities and we are committed to listening to their views. I encourage people to complete the survey relevant to them.”

The surveys, which should take around 10-15 minutes to complete, are anonymous and responses will not affect access to services or support for young carers or their families. If anyone has any questions about the survey, please email them to: childrenscommissioning@somerset.gov.uk