Young Carers Action Day is taking place today and our Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust School Nursing team is raising awareness of the challenges faced by young carers.
Young Carers are children and young people under the age 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally disabled or misuses substances.
Recent national research indicates that there are more than 160,000 children in England (HM Government 2014) of children under the age of 18 years that have formal caring responsibilities. This is widely believed to be the tip of the iceberg, with some estimates suggesting that as many as one in five school children are young carers (University of Nottingham 2018), with this number increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Activities we deem normal for children to learn such as riding bikes are activities that they may not be able to do due to their caring responsibilities. Young carers are often hidden, feeling their duties are cultural but mainly part of normal family life. They don’t see the need for doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, to know how home life is, as for them they see it as normality. In some circumstances they fear the consequences of others finding out. This makes them more vulnerable.
Being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence and emotional wellbeing.
- Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress
- In a survey, 39% of young carers said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role
- 26% of young carers have been bullied at school because of their caring role
- 1 in 20 young carers miss school because of their caring role
- Young carers can become isolated as they may not access after school activities or events
A third of young carers will suffer with their mental health. The children’s society report (Hidden from view 2013) state that 1 in 12 young carers spend more than 15 hours a week looking after a parent or sibling.
MY PLACE at Walsall
In our borough there is a youth club for any young carer from the ages of 9 to 19. This is provided by Walsall council and run by youth workers.
The youth club is their chance to be children giving them the opportunity to meet with others who share similar experiences. This is a valued respite for young carers who can also access school nursing support at these sessions.
If you would like further information on the services that are available for young carers please contact Myplace:
- Address: 60 Walstead Road, Walsall, WS5 4PE
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01922 655419
You can also contact School Nursing:
- Phone: 01922 423349
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org