We are delighted to have been awarded the Bronze Suffolk Young Carers School's Award for promoting the early identification and support of young carers in our school.
A young carer is a child from the age of 5 who is caring or supporting a member of their family who has a physical disability, long term illness, mental ill health or problematic use of drugs and alcohol.
A young carer may:
- Feel confused or worried about the family member
- Help with household cleaning and cooking
- Look after younger brothers and sisters
- Struggle to understand the behaviour of the family member
- Provide a level of care that would usually be undertaken by an adult
As a result of this they take on a level of responsibility that is inappropriate to their age and development. This is likely to have a significant impact on their childhood experiences. Young people with caring responsibilities often go unnoticed in their communities, yet the effects of caring can be staggering on their lives. Taking on the physical and emotional demands of supporting a family member as they battle with long term sickness, disability, mental ill health or addiction is a lot for young minds to deal with.
Research suggests that 27% of young carers miss school or experience educational difficulties (40% where children care for a relative with drug or alcohol problems) (Dearden & Becker, 2004). Young Carers also have significantly lower educational attainment (Children's Society, 2013) and sadly, a quarter of young carers said they were bullied at schools because of their caring role (Carers Trust, 2013). This indicates that the young carers are a particularly vulnerable pupil group, and therefore we strive to meet the needs of these children through our ongoing work with Suffolk Young Carers in order to give these children equal access to education and opportunities.
Therefore, Whitehouse Community Primary has in place a Young Carer's Policy, hosts awareness assemblies, hold's termly Young Carer's clubs, as well as liaising with Suffolk Young Carers to best work together to meet our Young Carer's needs. Our Bronze Award proudly reinforces our commitment to providing support for any child who may be identified as a young carer.
If you feel that you or somebody you know is a young carer, our Young Carer's Lead is Mrs Samantha Allen, who will be happy to provide you with further information or support.