Information from Carers Trust & The Childrens Society
This document explores the challenges young carers are facing during the Covid-19 crisis and offers practical guidance for school staff on how to identify and support young carers ‘Back to School’.
Help to identify and support young carers
There are many challenges that are facing young people in our schools at this time. But for those who have a role in looking after a family member there are even more demands on them that need recognising so the right support can be given. Without this support young carers can reach crisis point, with their education, physical health and mental health all affected.
This is even more important given the fact that over the past 18 years, the fastest-growing group of young carers being identified is at primary school age.
The new version of Keeping Children Safe in Education specifically mentions young carers in a list of children who should be particularly alert to in relation to possible need for support from early help – it’s on page 7 of the document and says “Any child may benefit from early help, but all school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who… is a young carer”
Caring Together is a charity that supports carers across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They can provide training, information and resources to help you as a school to identify and support young carers in your setting.
A carer is anyone, including children and adults who look after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support (source NHS England).
The coronavirus crisis has increased the demands on young carers – they may have seen their caring role increase, the availability of support from family members or friends decrease.
At Caring Together we offer the Carer Friendly Tick Award for education. This is a really helpful, practical and achievable set of standards that, when complete, will ensure that your school is doing the best it can to support the young carers in your setting. We are here to support you through the Carer Friendly Tick Award process, from awareness-raising sessions, assemblies, and our education toolkit pack.
Children’s Services are very much encouraging that external services working with children in schools, continue to do so, and the support and resources from Caring Together remain available. These include:
- Delivering secondary school assemblies (which can be pre-recorded)
- Primary school assemblies delivered face-to-face in individual ‘bubble’ groups
- Resources to use in your school including a schools’ pack and also an animation for use with EYFS and key stage 1. See caringtogether.org/school-resource
- Staff awareness sessions delivered either virtually or in person
For further info or support please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Carer Friendly Tick please see caringtogether.org/carer-friendly-tick
To find out more about the impact of coronavirus crisis on carers and young carers please see
Identifying Young Carers
Young carers are a particularly vulnerable group during lockdown and many of us are disadvantaged by home learning due to family illness/disability and additional pressures at home. Some young people may also become carers as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, due to increases in ill health and substance misuse, and lack of access to services and support.
Education staff can make a really big difference though. Here’s some simple ways you can help-