Young Carer Awareness Day – 30 January

Young Carer Awareness Day – 30 January

Carer Support Wiltshire will be visiting three schools in the county to promote awareness. There will be a presentation at each school assembly and an information stand, where Carer Support Wiltshire staff will talk about available support and how to refer a young carer to Wiltshire Council for assessment and further help. Carer Support Wiltshire can provide support including short breaks for the young people and for emotional wellbeing.

The charity has also produced a digital pack for pastoral leads in school and general information. Leaflets and flyers are also being sent to colleges for staff to disseminate and hold information stands on Young Carer Awareness day.

National research states there are approximately five young carers in each secondary school class, with some young people not recognising their everyday life in this way.

Figures also show around 48 school days are missed a year by young carers because of their role.

The theme for this year's awareness day is Count Me In calling on compulsory education providers to do more to identify young carers and provide the recognition and support needed to get the most out of their education.

Carer Support Wiltshire CEO Judy Walker said "Our visits to schools on Young Carer Awareness Day give us a real chance to encourage young carers to come forward and get to know about the support that is available. The visits also help teachers in those schools to better understand how they can help the young carers in their classes."

Conservative Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, said: "Young carers are often working hard in the home caring for parents and siblings as well as attending school, doing homework and simply being a child or young person and enjoying life.

"We work with Carer Support Wiltshire so our young people realise they don't have to do this alone; we are there to support them."

The charity works with its partner Youth Action Wiltshire, which provides young carers with breaks, activities and opportunities to learn, aspire and grow.

Any family who thinks their child could be a young carer and needs extra support can talk to a teacher at the child's school or GP. All referrals for a young carers assessment are received via the DART or the SARF (Single Agency Referral Form), which can be found on Wiltshire Pathways website. SARFs can be sent directly to the team at YoungCarersTeam@wiltshire.gov.uk or in the post to: The Young Carers team, Support and Safeguarding East, Melbourne House Devizes, SN10 2AB. If you have any questions advice can be sought through the Families and Children's Services Integrated Front Door on 0300 4560108. Once the referral is received it will be allocated to a practitioner who will make contact with the family. If the young person is deemed a young carer once the assessment is complete, a referral to Carers Support Wiltshire will be completed to take part in activities that will give them a break from their caring role.

More information for carers is available from Carer Support Wiltshire at 0800 181 4118 and on the Carer Support website.

by Charlie Monro,