Why use this toolkit?

‘Families should not be left unsupported because their needs are seen as too complex’

(Cabinet Office 2008)


Young carers from refugee and asylum seeking families should not have to take on inappropriate care for another family member which impacts upon their own physical and mental well-being.


Consultation with young people and their parents from refugee and asylum seeking families has shown that they may face specific additional issues with their caring responsibilities, including language barriers, prejudice, limited knowledge of health and social care provision, access to social services, isolation, dealing with displacement and dispersal that can all affect the continuity of support. 


Young Carers from refugee and asylum seeking families may be coping with the impacts of caring in a strange culture, surroundings that are unfamiliar, and a new language. These impacts alongside the stigma and unsettlement of being a refugee could be detrimental to their own health and successful transition into the community and could create barriers for the whole family to support services and community integration resulting in exclusion.


The Think Family: Improving the Life Chances of Children at Risk Review­ (Cabinet Office 2008) highlights that in order to tackle exclusion specialist services and mainstream service providers need to work together to improve outcomes for families who have multiple problems.


The Children’s Plan­ (DCSF 2007) sets out plans for the next ten years under each of the DCSF’s strategic objectives. The Children’s Plan states that, for young carers, services should adopt a whole family approach. This means that children’s and adult services MUST have arrangements in place to ensure that no young person’s life is unnecessarily restricted because they are providing significant care to an adult with an identifiable community care need.


The outcomes of support of these families may not be that different from other families with ill health and disability or those from deprived or excluded groups. However you may need to take a different ‘pathway’ to providing this support due to trust and language barriers, cultural needs and beliefs and the transient nature of seeking asylum.