Safeguarding News: Young Carers Action Day Tuesday 16th March 2021
Please find content and resources below to support and raise awareness of Young Carers and young adult carers
Some children can’t enjoy the simple things many children take for granted because they are caring for someone in their family who is ill or disabled.
Young carers take on a lot of responsibilities, including washing and dressing the person they're caring for and looking after younger siblings – plus domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
That's a lot to take on as a child. With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have and many struggle educationally.
A young carer is a young person aged 5 – 16 a young adult carer is someone aged between 18-24 who cares, unpaid, for someone who could not manage without their help. This could mean looking after a parent, brother or sister or grandparent who has a disability, long term illness, or drug and alcohol-related issues.
As many as one in 12 pupils in the UK could be a young carer. Often, these children are caring for relatives without their teachers’ knowledge, slipping through the net, undetected by support services.
The caring role they carry out means they have unique experiences and demands that impact their capacity to enjoy and achieve at school.
What are the potential impacts of caring on a child's attainment, achievement and wellbeing?
Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group specifically mentioned in Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook (Ofsted, 2014).
Research shows that:
- 27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties (40% where children care for a relative with drug or alcohol problems) (Dearden, C, Becker, S, 2004)
- They have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level – the difference between nine Cs and nine Ds (The Children’s Society, 2013).
- They are more likely than the national average not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) between 16 and 19 (The Children’s Society, 2013)
- A quarter of young carers said they were bullied at school because of their caring role (Carers Trust, 2013)
- 81% of young adult carers said their caring role makes them or had made them more stressed (Carers Trust, 2017).
We aim to help as many young carers as we can. Please read the parental letter to help us support to raise awareness about young and young adult carers to raise their educational ambitions and future career dreams.
Two young carers talk about the reality of going to school and caring for their parents, and the support they've had from the Young Carers projects. More about help for young carers.