The Regional Partnership Children’s Sub-Group met on 21 October 2022 to focus on young carers. They received an information pack, presentation and watched two videos that summarised the evidence including statistics and data, feedback from young carers and examples of what’s working well in other areas. Then they had chance to talk and think together about what they would work together on as part of a Community of Enquiry.
If you’d like more information about the approach we took, please see our Focus on children and young people blog post.
Following time for reflection and conversations about the presentation and videos, the groups worked together to generate questions to discuss.
The questions were:
- What support do we need to provide parents to help young carers achieve their potential?
- Can we, and if so how, increase awareness of all stakeholders who need to know life stories of young carers in our establishments and facilitate practices to promote equality of outcome?
- How do we all work together in an educational setting for it to be the best person-centred environment for everyone?
- How can we take a systems or multi-disciplinary approach to prevent services imposing on young carers?
The group selected question 3 to discuss: how do we all work together in an educational setting for it to be the best person-centred environment for everyone?
- Creating a community around a school. Most children spend a lot of their time at school and teachers are focussed on providing a good education. By building a community around a school we can bring in support from other agencies to support young carers. We need to make sure that our systems don’t get in the way as well as making sure there is enough support that is centred around each child’s needs.
- There are some good examples on Anglesey of developing communities around schools using a trauma informed approach. All schools and the communities they are based in are different, so any approach needs to be flexible and adapt to each situation.
- Wrexham Glyndwr University are also working to become a trauma informed university and are developing a Community of Practice where people will be able to share their experiences and learn from each other about how to do this.
- There can be a lot of focus on the need for good attendance which can make life harder for young carers and other young people who have good reasons for not being able to attend schools. Flexible and hybrid approaches to attendance can help a lot but schools are often judged by their attendance rate which can make these approaches more difficult. We need to work with regulators and inspectors to Estyn to develop an approach that works for all children and young people.
- We need to co-produce school policies with young carers, for example around lateness or having longer school opening hours so they can have a quiet place to do homework.
The next steps are to put together an action plan to make sure these things happen. In the meantime, the people who took part said they would share the videos with their colleagues in schools and other partners, which will help raise awareness of the challenges that young carers face.
What do you think?
Are you a young carer or someone who supports young carers? Do you think these are good ideas and is there anything important we’ve missed? Do you have ideas for how we can fix things and would you like to be involved in fixing them?
Please get in touch with Luned Yaxley if there’s anything else you’d like to share with us.
With thanks to Nick Andrews, from the Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP) project for facilitating the session.
Links to the videos
Young carers app (opens in external site, scroll down to view the video)
Video by young carers in England (English only)