Make it law for schools to support young carers

Make it law for schools to support young carers

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We’re a group of young people aged 11-19 who are part of Young Carers National Voice[i] and we’re trying to improve the lives of young carers. We all provide care for people in our families who have long term physical or mental illnesses, disabilities, or drug/alcohol issues.

And we’re not alone. At least 1 in 12 children and young people are young carers like us[ii] – that’s around 800,000 across the UK.[iii] 

We love our families but often have to put the needs of others before our own with very little support ourselves. That’s why we need the Government to require every school to have a Designated Young Carers Lead. 

Why this is so important:  

We help our families in many ways, from shopping, cooking and managing bills, to providing personal care and emotional support. We often have to deal with emergencies too, when the people we love have seizures, falls, or crises from mental illness, alcohol or drugs. We’re children but with the responsibilities and pressures of adults - we fill the gaps that services can’t meet. 

School can be really hard for us. Due to our caring, we often end up missing days or arriving late and, when we’re at school, we’re tired, stressed and lots of us get bullied. On average, we receive GCSE results nine grades lower than other people our age[iv] and many of us have to deal with mental health problems ourselves too.[v]

Some of us have had really good support in our schools, but most of us haven’t. COVID-19 has highlighted this even more[vi], with lots of us caring 24-hours a day and no one contacting us to see how we are. 

We don’t think young carers getting support from schools should be a postcode-lottery. Do you?  

Please sign this petition to call on the UK Government to require schools to have a Designated Young Carers Lead. This person would have a clear role and guidance on how to identify and support us, meaning that all young carers across the country would get equal support so we can manage our education alongside our responsibilities at home.    

Schools are already required to have a lead for Looked After Children[vii] and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities[viii], so why not for young carers? We’ve been asking for a Designated Young Carers Lead for years[ix], as have charities like Barnardo’s.[x] 

We think we’re worth investing in while we’re at school so we can get the skills and qualifications to have a life and make a contribution outside of our caring. Help us get the futures we want and deserve.  

Please support our campaign by asking friends and family to sign this petition too and share it on Twitter - help us get Designated Young Carers Leads in every school.  #YoungCarersActionDay

Thank you!  From Rebecca (Sheffield), Jamaal (Bedfordshire), Lacey (Worcestershire) and all of us in Young Carers National Voice.

You can find out more here: 

[i] Young Carers National Voice: A group for young carers from across the country to come together and campaign collectively on issues that are important to them 

[ii] Barnardos: Still Hidden, Still Ignored

[iii] Children's Society: Facts about young carers

[iv] Children's Society: Hidden From View

[v] Children's Society: Facts about young carers

[vi] Carers Trust: Impact of Coronavirus on young carers and young adult carers

[vii]Statutory Guidance: Designated teacher for looked-after and previously looked-after children

[viii]Gov.UK: Special educational needs and disability (SEND) - detailed information

[ix] Sheffield Young Carers: Young carers urge Theresa May to act

[x] Barnardos: Still Hidden, Still Ignored

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!