A young carer is a young person under the age of 18 who cares, unpaid, for a family member such as a parent, sibling grandparents or other relatives who is living at home and has any type of illness, disability or addiction and cannot manage without the young carer’s support. The roles taken on by a young carer are exhaustive and are carried out often behind closed doors on top of the normal pressures of a young person’s life. Responsibilities may range from providing practical support such as helping to cook, clean or wash, giving personal care, emotional support, providing medication or helping with financial chores.
The terms “disability” and “long-term illness” do not mean just a physical disability or illness, but also cover, for example, mental illness, learning disability, or drug addiction, frailty or old age.
A Young Carer may also look after siblings when the adult family members are absent.
If an adult carer is regularly absent from the home due to work commitments, leaving a child or young person in sole charge of care provision (e.g. after school, in the evenings, at weekends), then the young person will be eligible for Young Carers.
At Ermine Primary we recognise that these children have a significant role at home and this may have an effect on school life. We meet regularly every week for these children to enjoy spending time with other Young carers in school but it also gives them time just to be a child again. We regularly meet up with the Young Carers from Lincoln Castle Academy which helps a lot during the summer transition for our YR6 as they will know who to go to if needed when they get there. We also meet up to go out on trips to give these children the opportunities they may not get to experience with family due to the caring role they do.
We recently went to Lincoln University to help inspire them for the future, to show that they can if they want to achieve a career even with their caring role. The children thoroughly enjoyed this day using the media suit building a neuron and playing with robots. Hopefully our next trip will be just as exciting!!
For more information about young carers please visit the Carers Trust Charity website