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Young carers

What is a young carer?

Young carers are children and young people who often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. The tasks undertaken can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole.

A young carer may do some or all of the following:

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as lifting, helping a parent on stairs or with physiotherapy.
  • Personal care, such as dressing, washing, helping with toileting needs.
  • Managing the family budget, collecting benefits and prescriptions.
  • Administering medication.
  • Looking after or “parenting” younger siblings.
  • Emotional support.
  • Interpreting, due to a hearing or speech impairment or because English is not the family’s first language.

Some young carers may undertake high levels of care, whereas for others it may be frequent low levels of care. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person.

Potential school support

Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group, who often experience difficulties in their education. Without support, they can struggle to attend school and make good progress and a quarter of young carers have said they are bullied because of their caring role.

Identifying and supporting young carers is an effective way of improving the attainment and attendance of this pupil group; who are specifically mentioned in Ofsted’s evaluation inspection schedule and frequently eligible for free school meals and pupil premium funding.

Step 1: Gaining an understanding about young carers

Step 2: Securing commitment of school leaders

Step 3: Introducing a young carers school operational lead

Step 4: Reviewing your school’s provision for young carers

Step 5: Acknowledging young carers in principal school documents

Step 6: Setting up systems to identify and support young carers

Step 7: Raising the awareness of schools staff about young carers

Step 8: Raising the awareness of pupils and families about young carers

Step 9: Identifying and supporting young carers and their families

Step 10: Sharing good practice with others

All of the above can be done with the local carers’ centre.

Schools can support young carers further by participating in the local or national school awards scheme

What do the Solihull Young Carers team do?

Friendly support workers who will help with:

  • Someone who understands and can make time to talk to the young person about feelings or problems they are having.
  • Finding other services that can help
  • Advocacy
  • Issues at school – like bullying, homework problems, friendships or problems young people are facing because they are a young carer
  • Solihull young carers do young carers assessments – where they find out EXACTLY how they can help in many different areas of the young person’s life
  • Preparing for college, training or employing and preparing for adult life
  • Solihull young carers provide FREE trips out and events and activities (especially during the holiday times) including:
  • Day trips
  • Mini holidays (residentials)
  • Young carers clubs
  • School holiday activities and more

They also provide FREE training on things like:

  • First aid awareness
  • Staying Safe
  • How to move someone safely
  • Food safety and more
  • Each young carer is provided with a carer’s card.