Reaching out to young carers
A number of young carers spoke about the value of their young carer group as a support network. This included creating a space for friendships and support with people that understand their situation, going on trips, and the support from youth workers.
Participants described a very varied level of support from their schools and colleges. Some had experienced very good support from school or from an individual teacher, where others said that their school didn’t take it seriously or didn’t understand.
“Too many kids get no support in schools in my opinion - at primary school I got a lot more support but then when you move up there are loads more kids”
Some participants described how young carers may be afraid of reaching out for support for fear of involving social work or getting separated from their family. Other talked about a lack of recognition for young carers, in particular in terms of understanding the impact that caring has on them at school.
Many young carers suggested that reaching out to schools is a good way to reach young carers, but some noted that that some schools are more supportive to young carers than others. Other suggestions included:
- After school clubs/ youth groups
- Religious groups
- Sports clubs
- Social media (including snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook/ Twitter)
- GP surgeries
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Informal networks (friends/ families)
- Organisations that provide support associated with particular disabilities or health conditions
Some suggested that it would be useful to have wider awareness raising campaigns with schools and medical professionals to support them to identify young carers and how to help.
Some also suggested that it would be helpful to use the application process for the grant as a way to raise awareness of the other support, like young carer groups, that might be available to someone in their local area.
Email: Catherine Henry