Young Carers in School
OPERATIONAL LEAD, YOUNG CARERS CHAMPION - MISS MELICA CUTBUSH
SENIOR LEADERSHIP LEAD - ACTING HEADTEACHER, MRS EMMA VERNEY-DAVIES
In Spring 2023 a national census revealed that there are a staggering 15,441 young carers in Primary schools and 23,261 in secondary schools, in England. Sadly, the census identified that there was a significant under reporting on the number of young carers.
What is a young carer?
By definition, a young carer is someone under the age of 18 who looks after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental health condition, or misuses drugs or alcohol. They may also look after brothers, sisters or elderly relatives too.
Young cares can be any age under 18. Some are as young as five years old but there could be child carers who are even younger.
What might their caring role involve?
Different children will do different amounts to help at home but below is a list of the tasks they are likely to take on:
- Practical tasks such as washing, ironing, shopping for food and cooking the meals
- Physical care can involve lifting in and out of the bath or off and on the toilet, helping someone up the stairs
- Personal care could mean washing someone and dressing them and helping with more intimate needs
- Emotional support is often part of the caring role: listening to the personal problems, calming them down and simply being there to help them feel safe
- Young carers may have to look after their younger siblings, put them to bed, pick them up from school, help them with their homework and cook for them. They might have to run errands and pick up medication, accompany them to appointments, translate for them.
We are aware that Young Carers looking after someone also gain valuable skills in that role such as;
- A caring and nurturing personality
- Close relationship with family
- Life skills; washing, cooking etc
Support at Wheatfields
At Wheatfields Primary School we are committed to identifying, supporting and meeting the needs of Young Carers so that they can attend and enjoy school in the same way as their peers. We offer various support for identified young carers and their families;
- Fortnightly afterschool group
- Confidential drop box for concerns and questions from parents and children
- Firm and supportive relationships with parents/families
- Links with school Inclusion workers, Mental Health Support Team (MHST), SEMH Lead
- Notice boards within the school building, offering information and advice for both parents and children and signposting who to speak to for more advice.
- Alternative arrangements for parents’ evenings
- Strong links with staff from Caring Together and Centre 33
- Phone calls home for the child, during the school day, to reassure them all is well at home
We help to ensure that the caring responsibility for the child doesn’t become too great and that support, the family are entitled too, is being offered.
If you think that you might be a Young Carer or you think that a child you know might be taking on a caring role within the home, please come and speak to Miss Cutbush email@example.com
Speak freely in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment.