As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it is critical that all professionals working with children and young people are aware of the needs and risks of young carers. The Young Carers in Schools Programme has consulted young carers, schools and carers services and created a succinct guide and staff briefing for all schools, to inform their response to the needs of young carers at this time.
The Young Carers in Schools Covid-19 guidance is due for schools and carers services in September 2020. If you would like access to these when they are available, please register your interest here.
Young carers are more likely to be absent from school, report a reduced sense of well-being and self-esteem, more likely to be bullied, and attain lower grades than the average non young carer in their peer group. In a UK survey of 961 young and young adult carers, by Carers Trust, we found that:
- 40% of young carers and 59% of young adult carers say their mental health is worse since Coronavirus.
- 67% of young carers and 78% of young adult carers are more worried about the future since Coronavirus.
- 66% of young carers and 74% of young adult carers are feeling more stressed since Coronavirus.
- 69% of both young carers and young adult carers are feeling less connected to others since Coronavirus.
- 11% of young carers and 19.7% of young adult carers report an increase of 30 hours or more in the amount of time they spend caring per week.
Young carers are recognised and protected in law, and we must reach out to provide support to minimise the impact on their life chances. Schools and colleges offer a break from caring responsibilities, a chance to connect with friends, wellbeing support and crucial opportunities for young and young adult carers to reach their full potential.