Young Carers

Young Carers: A definition

Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide regular and ongoing care to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances (ADASS, ADCS and The Children’s Society, 2012).

The tasks and level of caring undertaken by young carers 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 undertake some or all of the following:

  • Practical tasks – eg cooking, housework, shopping
  • Household Management – eg paying bills, managing finances, collecting benefits
  • Physical care – eg lifting, helping up the stairs, physiotherapy
  • Looking after siblings – eg putting to bed, walking to school, parenting
  • Personal care – eg dressing, washing, toileting needs
  • Interpretation – eg for hearing/speech impairment or English as an additional language
  • Emotional support – eg listening, calming, being present
  • Administering medication – eg insulin needles, preparing daily tablets

Impact of caring responsibilities on young people

  • Physical health: often severely affected by caring through the night, repeatedly lifting a heavy adult, poor diet and lack of sleep.
  • Emotional wellbeing: stress, tiredness and mental ill health are common for young carers.
  • Isolation: feeling different or isolated from their peers, limited opportunities for socialisation, bullying and harassment – more than two out of three young carers are bullied at school.
  • Unstable environment: traumatic life changes such as bereavement, family break-up, losing income and housing, or seeing the effects of an illness or addiction.

Pathway of support

If you have any concerns about children who may be showing signs they have caring responsibilities at home, it should be brought to the attention of their tutors in the first instance so that support can be initiated if not already in place.

During the school enrolment process for new pupils, Pinner Wood School will:

  • Identify parents or family members who have disabilities or other long-term physical or mental health conditions and whether the pupil has caring responsibilities which need supporting.
  • Establish individual plans to recognise the child’s/young person’s specific needs as a young carer.
  • Refer or signpost young carers and their families to other support agencies and professionals as appropriate.

Pinner Wood School actively seeks feedback and ideas from young carers and their families in order to shape and improve provision for young carers.

Pinner Wood School understands the issues faced by young carers, what to look and listen for and how to respond.

Pinner Wood School keeps up to date with national and local developments and with legislation and guidance affecting young carers and their families.

Young carers will know how to access support and information about the support available for young carers and how to access it is clearly available to both pupils and families.

Pinner Wood School uses the curriculum to promote a full understanding acceptance of, and respect for, issues such as caring, disability and impairment, for example, embedding the challenges faced by young carers into PSHE education lessons curriculum.

Pinner Wood School is accessible and welcoming to parents with disabilities and/or illness, offering additional support to enable them to attend parents’ evenings or other school events. Home visits are considered where appropriate.

Pinner Wood School offers additional support to remove any communication barriers with parents, so that parents are able to be fully engaged with the education of their child. Young carers are respected.

A young carer’s privacy is respected and information about them or their caring role is not communicated in front of their peers.

A family’s privacy is respected, and Pinner Wood School only shares information with professionals and agencies on a need to know basis in order to support pupils and their families.

Pinner Wood School views young carers as any other pupil, but understands that they have the additional pressure of caring responsibilities.

Transition support is in place for young carers

  • Pinner Wood School offers support to the pupil and their family during the transition process, sharing agreed information with their new secondary school lead for young carers and their families.
  • Pinner Wood School will identify young carers at risk of falling into the NEET category and take appropriate actions to address this.

Pinner Wood School will reduce barriers to education and learning

  • Pinner Wood School offers lunch-time sessions as well as weekly Young Carers meetings (run by Miss Nosal).
  • We allow young carers to use a telephone to call home during breaks and lunch times so as to reduce any worry they may have about a family member.
  • Where appropriate, Pinner Wood School negotiates deadlines, for example, for homework and coursework.
  • Pinner Wood School actively seeks feedback and ideas from young carers and their families in order to shape and improve provision for young carers.
  • We will consider how best to support those parents who find it difficult to escort younger children to school.
  • Pinner Wood School uses and evaluates data effectively to identify and monitor the progress made by young carers and reviews young carers individual plans accordingly.
  • Pinner Wood School meets the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

If you have questions about Young Carers, please speak to our Young Carers school lead Miss Nosal. You can get in touch by calling the school office.

Contact

Main Office
Pinner Wood School
Latimer Gardens
Pinner
Middlesex
HA5 3RA

Phone 020 8868 2468
Fax 020 8429 1629
Email office@pinnerwood.harrow.sch.uk

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