“A young carer is someone who is under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol.” The Carers Trust
Supporting young carers is an important aspect of student welfare at Weston Secondary School.
A young carer is a young person who looks after someone who couldn’t manage without their help. This could mean looking after a parent, brother or sister, or another family member living in the household with a disability, long term illness, mental health or drug and alcohol related issues. It could also mean living with the emotional impact of a sudden health event within the family, or a terminal diagnosis. When this is a parent, it can also result in responsibility or care for siblings.
As many as one in 12 students could be a young carer, and unless the school is advised about a student’s home circumstances, young carers risk first being identified by negative aspects of their behaviour or work. Some young carers worry about bullying and may be tired or worried, find it difficult to concentrate and have limited time for friendships and activities after school. If this is the case we can help.
At WSS, we support young carers by holding open conversations about their caring circumstances. We are developing a range of supportive interventions including a weekly lunch time drop in where they can build friendships with other young carers and receive support from staff.
We also have a staff member designated to identifying and supporting the young carers specifically. Currently, that is Mrs Ward who is Operational Lead for Young Carers across the school.