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.
Young carers provide a wide range of care including:
- Practical care (e.g. washing, cooking, cleaning for the whole family)
- Personal care (e.g. bathing, dressing)
- Emotional support (e.g. listening, being present)
- Childcare (e.g. caring for younger siblings, taking younger siblings to school)
- Communication (e.g. translating at medical appointments, paying bills/dealing with finances)
Young carers provide valuable help and support to their families, and we are proud of them and the care they provide. However, it can be a difficult role to manage and young carers might encounter a range of difficulties such as completing homework, feeling isolated from other children their age because they feel others don’t understand their lives, having a lack of time for play, sport or leisure activities, or struggling to manage their own physical or mental health.
We want to ensure that our young carers are supported in the best way possible and our first steps are to raise awareness with staff, students and parents so that more young carers can be identified and directed towards appropriate support where necessary. Much of this support is already available in school and further, personalised support can be accessed by referring students in need to the Essex Young Carers Service (part of Essex County Council). The Young Carers in Schools Award programme is designed to support schools in identifying and supporting young carers, and we are currently working towards the Bronze Award. Mrs Hiett (Year 12 Leader) is leading this work and acting as the Operational Lead for Young Carers, and is supervised in this project by Miss Harrison, who is designated as the SLT Lead for Young Carers.
It is useful for the school to be aware if a student is a young carer, so that we can be alert to difficulties they might encounter and offer appropriate support. If your daughter is a young carer and would like the school to be aware please contact the relevant Year Leader, Mrs Hiett or Miss Harrison for more information.
Some useful links: