PROPOSALS to provide better support for more young carers are to be considered by Somerset County Council’s cabinet.

There are an estimated 1,750 young carers in Somerset but at any one time the council’s existing arrangements only support around 150.

On Monday (May 13) councillors will decide whether to approve plans aiming to reach more young people and provide them with support and activities better tailored to their interests and circumstances.

Under the proposals, the current level of funding of £248,000 would be maintained and group support would be increased and enhanced. There would also be more focus on identifying young carers not currently receiving support, linking with schools and others.

Young carers would have a role in awarding £53,000 of grants to voluntary, charity and community groups towards activities and group meetings. Those groups would also be able to access other sources of funding not open to the council, helping them fund more activities.

A total of £75,000 would be available to help develop a community alliance of organisations providing young carers support and there would be £120,000 for dedicated support to young carers with more complex needs.

The number of group sessions would be increased to four a month in each of the four districts, with the potential for two extra monthly sessions for rural West Somerset. Young carers would have a role in deciding how the sessions are organised.

Last September, the cabinet deferred a decision on the future of support for young carers to allow detailed proposals to be worked-up about how it could be redesigned and to establish the capacity of the voluntary sector to provide such support.

In the meantime, existing support and activities have continued. Workshops and events have also taken place with young carers to understand what is important to them, and with voluntary organisations and interest groups to see what they may be able to provide.

A council spokesman said: “We know there are many young carers out there who aren’t currently getting support. We should be reaching more of them and giving them more options and activities - that’s what these proposals set out to do.

“We’ve seen elsewhere that working with the voluntary and community sector can work really well and that’s the approach being proposed.”