Principle 6.  Families and carers need support

Summary of Principle 6

Family well-being needs to be supported

Young people’s relationships with their family can be complex, particularly where parents or carers have an ongoing role in providing personal assistance and where disability related allowances or benefits are an important contribution to the household income. The needs and roles of family members and carers are also likely to change as the young person they care for grows up. Parents and carers are usually central to the continuing care of young people with additional support needs and are the people most likely to provide guidance and support during transitions. Many parents and carers feel they must fight for support and can experience ‘burn out’ as they deal with the many new challenges associated with transitions. Too often, parents and carers describe their experience of supporting a child through transition as like ‘falling off a cliff’ or a ‘black hole’.

Advocacy should be available at the start and throughout transitions

It is best practice for advocacy to be made available to all young people in transition and their parents and carers, particularly if they have concerns about having their voices heard. The offer of advocacy should be made at the start of transition, age 14, and be available to at least age 25. This is especially relevant for those who are looked after, care-experienced, and those being considered for a Guardianship Order.

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