Identifying and supporting Young Carers at St Thomas’
At St Thomas’ we are aware that some of our pupils are young carers. A young carer is someone under 18 years old, who is caring unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. They often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. Research suggests there are at over 750,000 young carers in the UK but many do not realise they are a young carer.
The School Census, which is completed in January each year, now collects data on children if they are identified as a young carer. A specific Code must be allocated against each child’s record to indicate whether they have caring responsibilities or not, and whether the information has been provided by parents/carers or identified by school.
Young carers carry immense responsibility in providing care and support at home; but their own needs may remain ‘hidden’ from wider view. The increased pressures young carers have faced due to the pandemic, has further highlighted the need to: improve formal identification of this cohort in schools, understand their needs and to provide early help as outlined in statutory guidance on keeping children safe in education.
Working together to safeguard children also outlines how school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need of early help for students who have taken on caring responsibilities.
We know that young carers may need a little extra support to enjoy and do well at school. At St. Thomas’ we are committed to ensuring that all pupils who are young carers are identified and supported effectively.
As the St. Thomas’ Young Carers’ Leads, we have responsibility for ensuring all our young carers are able to enjoy school and make good progress.
If you think your child might be a young carer, or could be affected by any of the issues we’ve highlighted, please let me know by filling in the form attached and bringing it into school in a sealed envelope addressed to Mrs Boardman.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, or have any further questions, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0161 432 6809 to speak to me directly.
Any information that is given to us will be treated sensitively and no information will be shared without your knowledge.
Young Carers in Stockport are supported by Signpost For Young Carers.
They are a charity who work with young people aged 6 to 25 in Stockport who care for a member of the family. They can offer support in the following ways:
- Centre Based Evening Groups
- Evening Activity Groups
- Short Breaks
- School Support service
- One to One sessions
- Family support service
- Play Therapy
- Counselling service
A referral to the service would be required if you feel your child would benefit from this. We can complete this referral for you if needed.
Mr P. Campen – Formal Lead
Mrs E. Boardman – Operational Lead
Mr J. Simpson – Young Carers School Governor