Referrals

We receive referrals from individuals, family members and professionals (including social workers, medical professionals and school-based staff). We ask referrers to complete a short form with as much information about the carer and cared-for as possible (seeking consent where appropriate). The completed referral form helps to give us an overview of the young person's caring role, including any specific needs they and/or their family may have related to this role. 

Our team have monthly allocation meetings, during which referrals are discussed and cases are assigned to particular workers (either Joe, Monique or Dionne).

Assessments

Once cases are allocated, our Family Support Workers make contact with families to arrange assessments. These assessments can take place at the family home, at school or at our office in the Vestry Hall, Mitcham. As our service is focused on the needs of both the young carer and the family as a whole, we generally aim to meet young carers and their parents/guardians during the assessment process (particularly as we are required to gain consent).

The assessments offer us a valuable opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of the strengths and needs of the young carer and their family and normally take around an hour to complete.

Action Plans

After the assessment, the allocated Family Support Worker writes up an action plan for the young carer. This action plan outlines the support our service is able to offer the young carer and their family during a three month intervention period (during which time we refer to the young carers as 'ACTIVE' cases).

Support offered to Young Carers may include:

  • a series of one-to-one support sessions - which will focus on an aspect of the caring role, for example 'worries', and generally take place at home or at school
  • general family support - which may include attending meetings and advocating on behalf of the young carer's caring needs, referrals to other support services etc.
  • opportunities to gain respite through funded group activities, trips and carer-related workshops. HOWEVER - these activities can only take place if we are able to acquire specific external funding.

Review 

Following the three month intervention period, young carers are offered a review (which can take place with their allocated Family Support Worker face-to-face or over the phone). This review offers the young carer, their family and Carers Support Merton the opportunity to evaluate the success of the support we have offered - highlighting any changes to the caring role, and the individual's (and family's) situation.

After Review 

After completion of the review, the young carer's 'ACTIVE' case will normally become a 'BACKGROUND' case. This means that the young carer and their family will not be eligible for focused individual and family support, but may be invited to any funded respite activities and workshops taking place during school holiday periods (once more, dependent on funding). 

Case Closure and Self Review

Approximately every six months (or following periods of non-engagement) we send out letters to 'BACKGROUND' cases, to enquire as to whether they still require our support. We offer these young carers and their families a period of two weeks to respond to the letter. If they wish to continue receiving support from our service, we offer them the opportunity to complete a short 'self review form' (which can be posted/delivered to us, or completed over the phone).

If young carers and/or their families do not feel they require continued support, or do not respond to the letter within the specified time period, we then send a further letter to advise them (and any professionals where appropriate) that their case will be closed. 

NB: Should a young carer require further support once their case has been closed, they are able to re-engage through our normal referral process