Caring and school can be a difficult mix . . .
Research has shown that about a fifth of young carers have problems with their education, rising to just under half for those children who are caring for a relative with an alcohol or substance misuse issue.
Late for school . whole days missed . transport difficulties . missing out on school events/trips/activities
Lack of concentration due to tiredness . lack of time to do homework
Relationship problems with staff and/or peers due to stress - some children may be disruptive, some may be withdrawn
Parents who have an illness or disability find it harder to attend open evenings and other school events
In a consultation with young carers in Telford & Wrekin a few years ago, the majority said that their teachers were not aware they were young carers. They felt different from their peers and many people they interacted with had no idea who young carers were and what they did. About half felt they had been bullied and intimidated in the past because they were 'different'.
How we work with schools
We always contact parents before assessing and supporting a young carer under 18.
After initial referral, from whatever source (including self referral), our policy is to carry out the child's first assessment in school. This enables us to make links with staff and gives the young carer the opportunity to chat outside of the caring environment.
If the young carer is in significant need, a period of one-to-one support will be put in place, which will also take place during the school day, for around half an hour. We liaise with school to ensure the periods chosen are as undisruptive as possible.
We regularly attend nearly all secondary schools in the borough - usually alongside Health drop-ins - as well as TCAT and New College. We are expanding our contact with primary schools too, as more younger carers are referred to the service.
We try to raise awareness of young carers among their peer group, removing the stigma surrounding caring, illness and disability.
We are able to deliver groups or 'whole assembly' short talks - sometimes with a personal contribution from a young carer.
Know a young person who may need our support?
Would you like a whole school or group presentation?
Ring or email us or complete the Referral Form
Relationships in school
Communication between home and school