Young Carers

Young Carers is an area that has become more prominent in recent years within education.

While there are no exact figures on the number of young carers nationally, some data does exist that give us an idea of the extent of the issue. Findings from research (Walker, 1996) suggest that up to 51,000 children in Britain may be providing substantial and regular care to another family member.

Who is a young carer?

Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide regular and on-going care to another person who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.
Many young people don’t see themselves as carers and may not realise there is practical and emotional support available to them.

A child may be a young carer if they:

  • care for a family member, because of illness, disability or old age
  • help someone with bathing or dressing, going to the toilet or getting into/out of bed
  • need to cook for their family
  • look after money or organise the family budget
  • help anyone to take medication regularly
  • collect prescriptions or benefits on behalf of someone else or go shopping for the family
  • look after brothers or sisters, by taking them to school, doing their laundry, or cooking their meals
  • take care of housework, such as dusting, hoovering, washing or ironing
  • speak on behalf of someone who has difficulty speaking or communicating for themselves
  • translate or interpret for someone at home

The effects of being a young carer

  • They may have responsibilities at home that prevent them from spending time with friends, or inviting them to the home.
  • They may feel sad, angry, guilty or embarrassed about the help they give to anyone at home.
  • They may feel upset that friends don’t have the same responsibilities.
  • They may avoid telling anyone outside the family about their home situation.

At Holt Farm Junior School, the Inclusion Team is also the Young Carers Team.

Mr Keeler, Mrs Iles and Mr Dennis have, between attended a range of courses and had meetings with people from both the Essex Young Carers Service and Supporting Carers And Families Together (SCAFT), looking at ways we can support children who are young carers.

Currently we have two SCAFT counsellors who come into school and have 1:1 sessions with children who have been identified as being Young Carers, and we are working with the Essex Young Carers Service to enhance the provision available for Young Carers at our school.

If you feel that your child may be a Young Carer, please make an appointment to speak to one of the Inclusion Team, via the school office, to discuss the situation and we will get the ball rolling with regards to what support we may be able to offer.