Challenge / Problem
There are four times more young carers in the UK than are officially recognised (BBC, 2010). There are young, unsung heroes in every neighbourhood. Every young carer is different, but these are some examples of what they have to juggle in their lives:
• Talking to parent / sibling who is distressed and helping them communicate
• Helping parents / sibling get out of bed and dressed
• Collecting prescriptions and giving out medicines
- Managing the family budget
• Cooking, housework and shopping
The biggest challenge is often the worry they have for the parent or sibling that they look after and often not being understood by others. Incredibly, with recognition and support young carers can be extremely successful, they are used to being responsible and getting things done, but all too many do not achieve their potential and become isolated.
Young Carers have asked for an ID card so that teachers, health professionals and retailers know that they carry important responsibilities.
In response, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, outlined her commitment to this initiative in rolling out a national young carers identification card in response to the National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Inquiry into the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014 and its impact on carers, as well addressing the three national priorities for carers in Wales.
Here in North Wales a regional partnership approach to the development and launch of the national Young Carers ID Card was taken in order to strengthen the offer to young carers, providing greater recognition and transferability of the card across all 6 counties. The local authorities, BCUHB, commissioned providers Action for Children, NEWCIS and Credu WCD Young Carers worked together with a group of young carers on the local roll-out of the national model.
The North Wales Young Carers ID Card was officially launched on 16th March 2021, marking Young Carers’ Action Day. The launch was attended by health and social care professionals, providers and young carers as well as Wrexham Athletic Football Club who kindly agreed to sponsor the event and raise awareness of young carers and the ID card with a commitment to raise money for young carers throughout the year.
The North Wales Young Carers ID card has been developed to:
- Identify young carers – a child or young person 18 years of age or under living in Wales
- Recognise their important role and the impact that this may have on their life/ well-being
- Raise awareness of young carers across their local communities, their peers and professionals that they may come into contact with, such as GPs, District Nurses, Pharmacies, Schools/ Further Education etc.
- Help young carers to access the right support at the right time, including signposting to support services
The ID card will give young carers a quick and easy way to inform teachers, pharmacists and GPs, retail staff, and community services such as leisure centres and local transport, that they look after someone. It will also help them access their rights under the Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014, including their right to a carers’ needs assessment.
A suite of ID options is available, from an actual plastic credit-sized card, to a wristband and an app which will also provide a digital version of the card. This will provide choice for the young carer, depending on their age and preference.
If you know someone who would benefit from a young carers ID card, or wants to talk to someone about their caring role, please contact:
Action for Children (Anglesey & Gwynedd) – (01248) 364614 / email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Credu (Conwy, Denbighshire & Wrexham) – (01597) 823800 / email@example.com
NEWCIS (Flintshire) – (01352) 752525 / firstname.lastname@example.org