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 person 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 regular allocation meetings, during which referrals are discussed and cases are assigned to particular workers (either Joe or Dionne).

Initial Assessment

Once cases are allocated, our Family Support Workers make contact with families to arrange an initial assessment. This assessment can take place at the family home or at school and consists of two evidence-based tools that assess the level of caring and its impact on the child/young person.

As our service is focused on the needs of both the young carer and the family as a whole, we will always aim to involve the views of the young carers' parents/guardians during the assessment process (particularly as we are required to gain consent).

Outcome of Initial Assessment

  1. If the initial assessment finds a low level of concern, we may decide that no further work is required at this time. In these cases, we will inform the young carers, their parents/guardians and referrers of the outcome of the initial assessment and that we will be closing the case. At that point, the young carer will no longer be an 'ACTIVE' case, but will remain on our database as a 'BACKGROUND' case (and as such will be able to contact us for information, advice and guidance related to their caring role and may also be elligible to attend occasional workshops or school holiday respite activities).
  2. If the initial assessment shows a moderate to high level of concern (or finds that the young person would benefit from targeted support from our service) the young carer will be offered a more focused detailed assessment (see below).

Detailed Assessment and Action Plan

This assessment serves to explore the caring role and its impact in greater depth and helps us to devise an action plan for the young person. 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 (e.g. writing support letters).
  • signposting and/or referring young carers to access local activities, support services and grants (We may also occasionally be able to deliver respite activities, or focused workshops - HOWEVER -  these activities can only take place if we are able to acquire specific external funding).


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).