At Ermine Primary Academy our Young Carers group has been running for the last six years and over this time we have enjoyed lots of fun and exciting activities both in school and out.
Being awarded the Young Carers Friendly Award by Lincolnshire Healthy schools has been a great achievement for all of us.
Children have the benefit of being able to have someone to talk to when they need to, and feel a lot safer and secure within school. Without this group children would not get the opportunity for the extra time and support with home life and a chance to talk about it.
They know they are not going to be judged and that someone understands the additional responsibilities that they have to shoulder. It also makes these children happier when they see other Young carers within school coping with their challenges and give great support to each other.
In February, the group visited Lincoln Castle Academy and with their Young Carers group, joined in with some circus training! It was really good fun!
Also just before half term, we spent some time learning how to make pizza baguettes! Yummy!
- www.youngcarer.com this site has the school resources packs
How Ermine Primary Academy supports young carers
At EPA, we are aware that some students may well have caring roles at home.
We believe that all young people should have equal access to education, regardless of what is happening at home. When a young person looks after somebody in their family who has a disability, mental or physical ill-health or substance misuse problem(s), they may need a little extra support to help them get the most out of school.
We aim to understand the issues faced by young carers and to support any student who helps to look after somebody at home. For example:
- We have 2 members of staff (Miss Thompson and Mrs Sperrin) who have the responsibility for young carers. We will let all new students know who we are and what we can do to help;
- We can provide students with confidential support and advice in school;
- We can issue young carers with a card which will flag up to staff that they have caring responsibilities at home so that students do not have to keep explaining their situation at home;
- We work closely with the Lincolnshire young carers’ service and can put students and their families in touch with them and other support services;
- If young carers are unable to attend out-of-school activities due to their caring role, then we will consider alternatives. we allow young carers to telephone home during breaks and lunchtimes;
- We include transitional opportunities for them to work with and meet other Young carers from our secondary partnership school Lincoln Castle Academy.
We also have opportunities to meet other Young carers from other local primary schools as well. We respect students’ right to privacy as a young carer and will only share information about them and their family with people who need to know so that they can help the young person.
Who is a Young Carer?
- A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition such as:
- A physical disability,
- A learning disability,
- A long term illness,
- A mental health condition, or misuses substances or alcohol.
The majority of young carers look after one or both of their parents, brother or sister. A young carer might also care for a grandparent or someone else from their extended family
They do jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move around.
Young carers may need to help a relative deal with their feelings by talking to them, listening and trying to understand their problems.
The difference between young carers and other young people who help in the home is that young carers are often responsible for someone else in their family in a way that most other young people aren’t.
What does a Young Carer do?
A Young carer will take on additional responsibilities to those appropriate to their age and development. A young carer might be providing the main care or share responsibilities with another family member. The caring tasks that a young carer has to deal with can range from:
- Nursing Care – Giving medication, injections, helping with mobility, changing dressings
- Personal Care – washing, dressing, feeding, helping with toilet requirements
- Emotional Care – listening, being a shoulder to cry on, supporting a relative through depression, being there to talk to, monitoring state of emotions.
- Domestic Care– washing, ironing, shopping, cleaning and cooking.
- Financial Care – paying bills sorting out benefits.
- Child Care – looking after younger siblings in addition to their caring responsibilities .
As a Young Carers Group
- We will always respect each other and listen to each other carefully.
- We will not laugh at or make fun of other children’s reasons for being in Young carers
- We will keep whatever happens in Young Carers in Young Carers club
- We will not talk about other peoples private stories to people outside Young Carers Club
- We will support each other
Absentee adult family members
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.