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Supporting young carers

Andrea And Her DadSupporting young carers is about providing practical and emotional support - helping to ensure they enjoy and achieve just like their peers.

Young carers aren't going to stop caring. But we can help them feel less alone and give them a break to learn and have fun, helping them balance their caring responsibilities with just being a kid.

Working in partnership

Early identification is the key. That's why we work in close partnership with schools, education welfare, children's social care services and GPs. We help them identify young carers, raise much-needed awareness of their situation and offer the support that they need, when they need it. Teaching our partners to understand young carers' needs and know which agencies to refer them to are two ways of doing it.

Our work with schools

It's clear to us that teachers play a crucial role in helping young carers to reach their educational potential. That's why we work with teachers to identify young carers and to help them accommodate the needs of the child. Maintaining ongoing links with school staff, we do things like presenting at school assemblies to raise awareness among other pupils.

Healthy Schools toolkit e-learning module

The Department for Education has launched a new e-learning module as part of its Healthy Schools toolkit, to help school staff who work with young carers.

Emotional and practical support

Our emotional and practical support not only helps young carers come to terms with their parent's illness - it also helps them build positive relationships with people outside of the family. Working with whole families, we link with adult services to make sure the parents are accessing the relevant support available. The result is a reduction in the caring responsibilities of the child or young person.

Taking a break

We provide young carers with regular breaks, access to fun activities and opportunities to meet other young people in the same circumstances as them. Most importantly, we relieve them of their caring responsibilities for a while and let them enjoy being a child.

Our services include:

  • advice and information
  • individual support for young carers on a one-to-one basis (and for parents if required)
  • needs assessment of young carers and their family
  • opportunities for young people to meet other young carers
  • opportunities for young people to join in planned groups and activities
  • signposting to other services if necessary, for young carers and/or parents
  • advocacy work
  • monthly parents' drop in
  • occasional family outings
  • outings for young carers
  • help for young carers to access adult services on turning 18
  • awareness raising
  • work with schools
  • multi-agency working