Young carers in secondary schools

Carers Australia has collated an extensive list of resource materials found below.

These materials have been sourced nationally and internationally. They are for use by people who are supporting, or want to support, young carers in secondary schools. This may include school administrators, teachers, counsellors, support workers, parents and guardians.

Each of the resources outlined below contains a synopsis, as well as contact details of the resource providers.

If you would like to comment or ask questions about these resources please contact us via email

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 Resource list for secondary schools supporting young carers

Australia                  Canada                    United States                    Ireland                    United Kingdom

Australia 

Supporting Young Carers in Secondary Schools

Carers Australia

Phone: (02) 6122 9900

E-mail: caa@carersaustralia.com.au

Websites:

www.carersaustralia.com.au

www.youngcarers.net.au

An 8-page booklet aimed at secondary schools in Australia.

It includes case studies, definitions and statistics. There are suggestions on what teachers and other staff in schools can do to assist young carers, such as provide flexible learning, access to telephones, computers and the internet, raising awareness among both students and staff, and introducing into the school curriculum learning activities about the caring role.

There is a list of contacts for where school staff can go for further assistance.

 

Making Education Work for Young Carers

Cyclops ACT - Anglicare Australia (2005)

Phone: (02) 6278 8444

E-mail: cyclops@anglicarecg.org.au

Website: www.cyclopsact.org

An information resource aimed at teachers and student welfare workers to:

1) Support young carers to continue in education to their aspired level.

2) Identify the challenges young carers face in pursuing a formal education while attending to their caring tasks.

3) Reduce some of the challenges teachers have in identifying, understanding and assisting young carers.

The pack was produced as a result of the feedback provided by 139 teachers surveyed during the Cyclops ACT Making Education Work for Young Carers project in 2004-'05, and 46 young carers who were interviewed during this time.

Key sections:

  • What is a young carer, how many young carers are there and how long does a young carer spend in their caring role?

  • Range of tasks that may be performed by a young carer.

  • Children of parents with a mental illness.

  • Living with a family member with alcohol and/or other drug related issues.

  • Positive impacts of caring: sense of self and personal value, sense of connectedness and value within their family, broad base of knowledge, life skills.

  • Physical impacts: chronic tiredness and/or exhaustion, physical injuries from inappropriate lifting, poor nutrition, inability to attend regular sports or exercise programs with their peers, difficulties maintaining the grooming and dress codes of their peers.

  • Emotional and mental health impact: feelings of isolation and/or alienation, hyper vigilance, high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

  • Impact on social development: forming and maintaining friendships with peers; social, cultural and leisure activities.

  • Impact on formal education: frequent absence, completion of homework, learning difficulties, concentration difficulties, apparent maturity, financial difficulties, bullying or ostracising at school.

  • How a young carer may present at school.

  • What can teachers and student welfare workers do to support young carers?

    • Be aware of the issues and challenges young carers face.

    • Utilise individual learning plans.

    • Develop a supportive environment.

  • What young carers want their teachers and student welfare workers to know.

  • The do's and don’t's of working with a young carer.

  • Further information and resources.

The resource has guidelines for setting up a support group and includes five sample session plans (below). There are also ideas for 'ice-breaker' activities.

  • Formation of a young carers group.

  • What it means to be a carer.

  • The balancing act.

  • Stress and relaxation.

  • Accessing support and resources.

Identifying and supporting Young Carers

NSW Government - Family and Community Services: Ageing, Disability and Home Care (2011)

Phone: (02) 9377 6000

E-mail: servicembx@facs.nsw.gov.au 

 

                 

 

There are two components to this resource:

1) An e-learning module available here; and

2) A document titled ‘Identifying and supporting young carers: a guide for service providers’ available here.

The resource is aimed at professionals in NSW to assist them in identifying and supporting young carers they may come into contact with.

The e-learning module takes approximately 30-minutes to complete. A certificate of completion can be printed out at the end of the module. There is video content, quizzes, and links to further information.

Key sections of the e-learning module include:

  • Who are young carers? What kind of caring tasks can young people perform?
  • Hidden young carers.
  • How to ask the right questions to identify young carers.
  • Acknowledging the caring role and its impacts on young people.
  • Assessing young carers: Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities (MACA) and Positive and Negative Outcomes of Caring (PANOC).
  • Advice about support – where to refer young carers for further support in NSW.
  • Consent and sharing information, implications of the Child and Young People (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
  • Act to support: maintaining relationships, referring to and working with services.
  • Identifying gaps in services.
  • What to do if a child is at risk – Child Protection Helpline, Child Wellbeing Units, The Mandatory Reporter Guide, and Interagency Guidelines.

The key sections of the 16-page document 'Identifying and Supporting Young Carers: A Guide for Service Providers' are:

  • Who are young carers?
  • Tasks performed by young carers.
  • Impact of caring responsibilities on young people.
  • Hidden young carers.
  • Support for young carers.
  • Services to help young carers.
  • Young carer assessment.
  • Consent.
  • Young carers at risk.
  • Contact details.

Young Carers in Education

Carers SA (2010)

Phone: (08) 8291 5600

E-mail: info@carers-sa.asn.au

Website: www.carers-sa.asn.au/

A 23-page booklet aimed at schools in South Australia. It contains case studies, quotes, definitions and statistics. 


Key sections:

  • The life of a young carer.
  • Providing emotional support.
  • Why are so many young carers hidden?
  • Impacts of caring.
  • At school, young carers may …
  • A message for teachers – what young carers would like you to do for them.
  • Strategies teachers and school counsellors can use to assist young carers in their schooling.
  • Information Sharing Statement.
  • Referral process.

Young Carers in Education: Supporting Rural and Remote Young Carers

Produced by Carers SA on behalf of Carers Australia (2011)

Phone: (02) 6122 9900

E-mail: caa@carersaustralia.com.au

Websites:

www.carersaustralia.com.au

www.youngcarers.net.au

A 23-page booklet aimed at schools in rural and remote Australia. It contains case studies, quotes, definitions and statistics. 

 

Key sections:

  • Who is a young carer?
  • How do I know if there are young carers in my classroom?
  • How can I help young carers in the classroom?
  • What strategies can my school put in place to support young carers?
  • What are some of the challenges for young carers?
  • Are there signs I can look for that indicate a student may be a young carer?
  • How can I support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young carers in my area?
  • What do we know about young carers from diverse cultural backgrounds?
  • How can I help young carers succeed at school?
  • How can I connect my students to local support services?

Carers Victoria website and resources relevant to young carers in secondary school

Phone: (03) 9396 9500

E-mail: reception@carersvictoria.org.au

Website: www.carersvictoria.org.au  

Carers Victoria has a section of its website aimed at teachers of young carers. This web page has information on ‘How do I identify young carers?’, ‘What can I do to help?’, ‘What do I ask’, and a number of resources available for order.

Resources include:

  • A brochure entitled ‘Young people with caring responsibilities: information for service providers’.

  • A booklet entitled ‘We care’.

  • A DVD entitled ‘Just care for us: supporting young carers’.

  • A ‘Young carer survival kit’.

The ‘We care’ publication is a 44-page booklet produced by Carers Victoria in 2013. It includes stories from young carers aged between 12 to 20 years old which describe what it means to the young person to be a carer, the impacts of being a young carer, and what and who has helped their situation.

The ‘Young carer survival kit’ was produced by Carers Victoria in 2011. The kit is intended to be used by skilled workers trained in youth work and group facilitation as a starting point for conversations with young people about the caring role, challenges and strengths of caring, and to prompt discussions that may lead to greater reflection, understanding, and strategies for young people to draw upon. The kit can be used with individuals or groups, and gives young carers the opportunity to evaluate activities.

The ‘Just care for us: supporting young carers’ DVD was produced in 2006 by Carers Victoria in association with Fran Haarsma Productions. It features five young carers talking about their caring responsibilities in relation to schooling and education, health and wellbeing, leisure and fun, friends and their future. The DVD aims to raise awareness of young carers and offers strategies to support them.

Young Carers Manual: A Manual for Service Providers Who Work with or Plan to Work with Young Carers

Carers WA (2007)

Phone: (08) 9228 7401

E-mail: info@carerswa.asn.au

Website: www.carerswa.asn.au/

A 60-page booklet aimed at organisations, community groups and service providers who work with, or plan to work with young carers in Western Australia. Although there is no specific information for schools, much of the information is applicable and can be adapted.

 

Key sections:

  • Background information such as definitions, statistics and a summary of the issues faced by young carers.
  • A description of the services Carers WA provides and the work of the organisation with young carers.
  • Points to consider in developing and operating a young carers service: aims of the service, steering groups/committees, partnerships, recruitment, resource requirements, promotion of the new service, reaching young carers, networks, coherent inter-agency strategies and policies, social supports and activities, involving young carers, communication, evaluation and monitoring, checklists, and supporting young carers who do not want to attend groups.
  • Good practice: health and safety, confidentiality, complaint and grievance process, risk management and harm minimisation, duty of care, rights, responsibilities and strategies.
  • Overview of existing services for young carers in Western Australia.
  • Useful youth-specific contacts.

Forms and templates:

  • Risk management/risk minimisation procedure for young carer programs.
  • Camper and parent contract (to be used for young carer camps).
  • Consent form (for Carers WA/Young Carer Camps).
  • Case studies of young carers – how would you deal with these situations?

Young Carers WA website and Young Carer Aware Schools criteria

Carers WA

Phone: (08) 9228 7412

E-mail: info@carerswa.asn.au

Website: www.youngcarerswa.asn.au

The Young Carers WA website includes a section with information for teachers and schools in Western Australia. Content includes:

 

  • About young carers.
  • What responsibilities do young carers have?
  • How does caring affect young people?
  • Research about young carers at school.
  • Resources for schools: identify, support, raise awareness, Young Carer Aware Schools Criteria.
  • Resources for teachers: why teachers are important to young carers, how to identify a young carer in your classroom, how to identify a young carer who may need support, how you can help a young carer in your classroom (talk to them, encourage a network of friends, provide flexible learning options, raise awareness in the school community, act as a referral point).
  • Schools frequently asked questions.
  • Useful sites.
  • Glossary.

There is a checklist available for download called the Young Carer Aware Schools Criteria, where the aim is for schools to satisfy certain criteria to be recognised as a ‘Young Carer Aware School’. The Principal of the school signs the declaration and it is sent to Carers WA to be processed. The checklist incorporates Western Australian College of Teachers Professional Standards (2009).

The website has a form for schools to refer a young carer who is one of their students to Carers WA.

 

Canada

Curriculum Guide for the film 'Ending Silence' - a documentary on Youth Caregiving

Dan Vaillancourt, Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society

Phone: 057 932 2920

E-mail:

dan@familycarergiverssupport.org 

Website: www.cowichanyoungcarers.org

The resource is aimed at middle schools and high schools. Teachers are able to use the resource to guide their lessons and there are handouts and activities that can be photocopied.


It contains a curriculum guide and two DVDs: a documentary on youth caregiving called ‘Ending the Silence’ and a support content DVD which has extended footage and additional content. 


The curriculum guide is structured as follows:

  • Facts about youth caregivers for educators.
  • Are you a youth caregiver? A poster used to generate discussion before students watch the documentary.
  • Warm up activities to be used after students watch the documentary.
  • Positive and negative impacts of youth caregiving done as a group activity.
  • Medicine Wheel: students label the four quadrants of the Medicine Wheel (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and then list in the appropriate quadrant how youth caregiving might be affected by caregiving situations and what types of support might rectify the negative effects.
  • A daughter’s story: a story about a youth caregiver with accompanying questions.
  • Jigsaw study of a scholarly article: students read and discuss a research article called “Young Carers: Mature Before Their Time” written by three professors at the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.
  • Crossword puzzle: uses youth caregiver-related vocabulary.
  • Wordsearch and wordscramble.
  • Quick quiz based on content from the documentary.
  • A list of local resources for youth caregivers in the Cowichan Valley.

 

United States

AFA Teens - Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Phone: 1866 232 8484

E-mail: jburke@alzfdn.org

Website: www.afateens.org

This resource offers teenagers the opportunity to get involved through AFA Teens chapters across the country. Chapters are youth-led, activity-based offshoots of AFA that groom tomorrow's leaders, engage teens in grassroots efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and volunteer in their communities, and educate and support teens and their families who are affected by the brain disorder.

There is a one-time sensitive opportunity that is available as part of the AFA Teens Skype Support group. This free, confidential support group is facilitated by licensed social workers and offers teenagers the chance to meet other teenagers in a caregiver role, share caregiving tips and skills, and learn how to cope with life as a caregiver.

In addition to the opportunity to start a local chapter, AFA Teens provides students with many other ways to stay engaged in the cause and support their peers through interactive, creative and educational means. For example:

  • Participate in a Skype support group for teams.
  • Membership with the AFA Teen Advisory Board to further develop AFA Teens.
  • E-newsletters and an e-list.
  • Interactive discussion boards.
  • “Creative contributions” – contribute artwork, poems, videos or other creative works in honour of a loved one.
  • Read and contribute to a blog.
  • A Twitter and Facebook account.

American Association of Caregiving Youth. Caregiving Youth Project

Phone: 561 391 7401

E-mail: info@aacy.org

Websites: 

www.cyppb.org/           

www.aacy.org/

The American Association of Caregiving Youth’s ‘Caregiving Youth Project’ has been operating in schools in Palm Beach County, Florida since 2006. In 2014, there are plans to roll-out the program more widely in middle and high schools across the United States with the collaboration of the Department of Education.

The program serves more than 350 caregiving youth and their families in 8 middle schools and 17 high schools. The program is primarily funded by private philanthropy.

The main activities of the project are: 

  • Identifying caregiving youth in a particular school through a survey/eligibility process.
  • Assessing those youths most in need of support by identifying their Level of Responsibility, which takes into account the types of caregiving activities they perform and the time they spend doing them.
  • Providing a variety of information, counselling and skills-building services to strengthen youths' problem-solving and caregiving skills, and to increase their confidence.
  • Reminding young people they are not alone in their role by providing 'Lunch and Learn' sessions in school, inviting them to participate in school-based clubs, and sponsoring activities where they have an opportunity to talk, relax and play with other caregiving children who know what they are going through.
  • Conducting home visits to assess family needs and provide resources.
  • Promoting awareness, knowledge and understanding of caregiver youth among students, teachers, health and social service professionals and the broader community.
  • Encouraging educational success by providing computers and connectivity as well as in-home tutoring and mentoring through collaborating partners.
  • Advocating for youth with school system decision-makers to craft student caregiver-friendly policies and practices that support school engagement and success.

There are a number of videos on young carers in school settings available on the website.

 

Ireland

Young Carers Ireland website

The Carers Association Ireland

Phone: 057 932 2920

E-mail: info@youngcarers.ie

Website: www.youngcarers.ie/



The Young Carers Ireland website has a section with information for schools and teachers in Ireland. This includes: 

  • Who are young carers?
  • Effects of being a young carer – positive and negative.
  • Identifying young carers: Confidentiality Agreement, Family Support: A Questionnaire for Students, Young Carer Support Options.
  • Resources for schools.
  • A model for setting up a framework of support: developing a school lead, checklist for schools lead/management teams, developing school policy, policy content guidance, a model school statement for pupils and families.
  • Building a healthy school environment: raising awareness, crisis and emergency plans, working in partnership with young carers’ services.
  • Recommended reading, videos and stories.
  • Staff training and awareness.
  • Top 10 tips for schools to support young carers.
  • Resources for teachers: class plans and activities: case studies, a day in the life of a young carer, challenges map, best friend letter of support, young carer letter, role play, what’s the answer?, top 10 tips for peers.
  • Young carers and their education: attendance, behaviour, detentions, bullying, transport.
  • Further information: studies and reports.

Materials:

  • A school young carer’s poster.
  • School Charter and Coordinator Role.
  • Flyer/handout for schools.
  • How to Identify Young Carers.
  • Self-referral for Young Carers.
  • Questionnaire for Parents to Give to School.
  • Self-identification Form for Young Carers.
  • What’s Our Next Move? School form.
  • Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Family Support: A Questionnaire for Students.
  • Young Carer Support Options.
  • Medication log.
  • Young carer awareness poker game.
  • Emergency care plan.
  • Who helps us and what do they do?
  • Skills acquired through caring to write on my CV.



United Kingdom

A Resource Pack for People Working with Young Carers

David Uffindall, Tacade. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (2006)

Phone: 0844 800 4361

E-mail: info@carers.org

Website: www.youngcarers.net

This pack has been developed for use by primary and secondary schools and Young Carer Workers who go into schools to work with students and staff to raise awareness and develop understanding about:

1. How young carers are defined.

2. The particular needs of young carers and how these may be met.

3. Increasing acceptance/reducing stigma in schools of the need to care for people with mental health, substance misuse and disability issues.

As part of this resource there is a CD-ROM for assembly PowerPoint presentations: ‘In Other People’s Shoes’, ‘One of a Team’, ‘Who are we? What are our needs?’

Key sections:

  • Background information including definitions, statistics and the effects of caring.
  • Tips and checks for Young Carer Workers going into schools, and sample Code of Practice for Young Carer Workers working with schools.
  • Partners in Education Support Agreement Form: details the agreed-upon activities of the Young Carer Worker and the school, and what resources are required.
  • Sample letter for parents: Describing what the Young Carers’ Project is, about the Young Carer Worker visit to the school, and who to contact for further information.
  • Young Carer’s Charter.
  • Example of a Young Carer’s Policy for Schools.
  • Young Carers’ Action Checklist for Teachers.
  • Lesson plans and accompanying materials (referred to below): Each lesson has an evaluation form that students can use to give feedback. There is also a student questionnaire to be provided to all students (regardless of carer status) after they have received information about the Young Carers Project via assembly. The questionnaire is to aid the identification of young carers and to link them to supports.
  • Further reading and contact numbers.

There are 5 lessons that can be facilitated with students aged 7-16 years:

  • Special people: To help students explore and understand the concept of caring by considering what tasks, general and personal, may be undertaken and by whom, and comparing these to a scenario involving a young carer.
  • Problems at home: To help students develop good relationships and respect differences between people and in particular to:
    • Empathise with people different to themselves.
    • Understand the changing nature of, and pressure on, relationships with friends and family and when and how to seek help.
    • Understand about the role of parents and carers and the value of family life.
  • What’s the Answer: To help students to:
    • Develop knowledge, skills and understanding through meeting and working with people, e.g. Young Care Workers, who can give them reliable information about health and safety issues.
    • Consider social and moral dilemmas.
    • Find information and advice about a range of health issues and to prepare for change, for example by anticipating problems caused by changing family relationships.
  • Research task: To help students, in part:
    • To identify the causes, symptoms and treatments for stress and depression and to identify strategies for prevention and management.
    • To seek professional advice confidently and find information about health.
    • To know about the statutory and voluntary organisations that support relationships in crisis.
  • Case studies: To help students to:
    • Explore in detail what a young carer does.
    • Understand better the problems and concerns that a young carer may be experiencing.
    • Identify ways in which they may be able to help someone who is a young carer.

Action for Young Carer’s Teachers Guide

Action for Young Carers – Carers Federation

Phone: 01159 629 310

E-mail: info@carersfederation.co.uk

Website:

www.carersfederation.co.uk 

This resource is aimed at primary and secondary schools in Nottingham in the United Kingdom. The pack is intended to assist school staff in delivering age appropriate exercises to raise awareness of young carer issues. There is a form that schools can use to evaluate the resource.

 

Key sections:

  • Background information including definitions, statistics.
  • Identifying young carers including suggestions, such as having systems in place for young carers and having a young carer lead.
  • Activities for students (refer to below).
  • Schools’ responsibilities to young carers – legislation, strategies, personalised learning plans.
  • An example of a young carers’ policy.
  • Further information.

There are five activities that can be done with students: 

  1. Who are young carers (an activity for older children and young people): can be used with the case studies exercise to explore the issues around young carers in more depth, the students in the group should be able to explain what a young carer is, and to know some details about young carers such as what they do and what the average age is.
  2. Case studies: to learn about a hidden group of people, to know what young carers lives are like, to discuss with the group the difference between helping the family with chores and having the responsibility for a family member’s welfare, to promote the self-referral of any children in the class who may realise that they are a young carer, and to reduce bullying.
  3. Emma’s Daze/design a poster: to give the students an insight into the daily life of a carer, to enable empathy and understanding of Emma’s life, to discuss the various issues Emma has to cope with, and to end the activity positively by devising solutions for her difficulties. This activity includes ‘Emma’s daily schedule’.
  4. Spark Cards for use in classroom discussions: To give students an opportunity to speak their mind without fear of being criticised or saying the ‘wrong thing’ and to learn about young carers. By using a series of cards (included in the resource), students can explore their thoughts and feelings on the subject of young carers.
  5. Who would you prefer to meet?: To explore assumptions and prejudices, to allow the pupils to be aware of the judgements they make and the effect this can have on their relationships, and to learn some facts about well-known figures.

The pack also contains an award-winning DVD (Bang Film Festival 2008) made with the help of young carers, which explores the impacts of caring.

Doing the right thing well in schools - a good practice guide for working with young carers in schools

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Scottish Young Carers Service Alliance

Phone: 0844 800 4361

E-mail: info@carers.org

Website: http://static.carers.org/files/prt-schools-guide-1-4025.pdf

This resource describes how young carer projects work with teachers and other school staff. It sets out ways in which young carer staff can approach and build relationships with schools and recommends piloting projects, giving examples of such projects. There is a list of what works/what doesn’t work in terms of linking in with schools.

 

The resources gives information on practical ideas for:

  • Identifying young carers in schools.
  • The roles of different staff internal and external to the school.
  • Issues around confidentiality.
  • Supporting young carers.
  • Setting up young carers’ groups in schools.
  • Support during transition periods.
  • Exit strategies.
  • Monitoring and evaluation.
  • Funding.
  • Resources that are available and useful links.

There are examples of a Young Carers Charter for Action and Code of Practice for Working in Secondary Schools. 

Supporting Young Carers: A resource for schools

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and The Children’s Society (2010)

Phone: 0844 800 4361

E-mail: info@carers.org

Website: www.professionals.carers.org

This is a resource aimed at both primary and secondary school staff in the United Kingdom and includes: models and frameworks; tools for developing policies; checklists; stories, case studies and scenarios; practical ideas for supporting young carers; key resources and further reading.

Key sections:

  • Good practice in identification of young carers.
  • Legislation and duty of care.
  • Crisis and emergency plans.
  • Barriers to learning and possible solutions.
  • Addressing attendance, behavioural and bullying issues.
  • Involving school governors and school leadership teams.
  • Developing a school policy for young carers and their families.
  • Establishing a school lead for young carers and their families.
  • Staff training and awareness.
  • Raising awareness amongst all students.
  • Young carer identification.
  • Transition from primary to secondary school, and higher and further education.
  • Students with parents affected by substance misuse, mental health problems, or someone with a learning disability.
  • Students caring for a sibling.
  • Students from migrant families.
  • Where to refer young carers for further help and working in partnership with other services.

Models:

  • A model for setting up a framework of support.
  • Working with young carers: a model.

Checklists and forms:

  • Possible indicators of a young carer.
  • Barriers to learning: a checklist to use with students.
  • Young carer support options.
  • Confidentiality agreement.
  • Family support: a questionnaire.
  • Effective partnership with young carers’ services: a checklist.
  • How our school supports young carers: a template.
  • Information and contacts for young carers: a template.
  • Information and contacts for parents: a template.

Promotional materials:

  • Poster aimed at staff.
  • Poster aimed at students.

Include Programme

The Children’s Society

Phone: 020 7841 4400

E-mail: supportercare@childrenssociety.org.uk

Website: www.youngcarer.com

The Children’s Society’s Include Programme has a number of resources for young carers, their families, and professionals who support them.


‘Supporting Pupils Who Are Young Carers: Information for Teachers and School Staff’:

  • Who are young carers? Definitions and quotes.
  • Relevant guidance. Schools White Paper: The Importance of Teaching (2010), Ofsted.
  • Legislation: Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995, Carers and Disabled Children Act 2001, Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, Equality Act 2010, Safeguarding.
  • Will there be any young carers in my school?: Statistics, impacts of caring.
  • Will I know which pupils are young carers?: Signs a pupil could have a caring role.
  • What tasks might young carers have to undertake at home?
  • How might a young carer’s academic performance and life at school be affected?
  • Admissions and transport: School Admissions Code 2012.
  • What can we do as a school or schools worker? Staff member as young carer lead, staff awareness, internal management systems, supporting the individual pupil, pupil premium and bursaries, raising awareness and linking with other agencies, recognise and support the positives, school nurses.
  • Young carers give top ten tips for schools.
  • Positive outcomes for pupils who are young carers.
  • Resources and further information.
  • Key principles of practice for young carers and their families.
  • References.

'Young Carers Notice Board: Has Your School Got One Yet?': the pack includes a poster for family/pupil display, a poster for staff room display, youngcarer.com web-cards, youngcarers.net web-cards, a website resources list, and an information leaflet for education staff.

There are other guides that are of relevance for professionals supporting young carers, such as 'Supporting Pupils With Substance Misusing Parents', 'Supporting Children Who Have a Parent With a Mental Illness', 'Supporting Refugee Young Carers and Their Families', and 'Working With Young Carers in Trouble With The Law: Focusing on Young Carers.

A DVD Pack, 'Listening to Young Carers: A Tool for Those Working With Young Carers and Their Families' is also available to order from the website.

Supporting Young Carers in Secondary Schools: Resource Pack

Marilyn Hodsdon, Senior Young Carers Schools Workers, Carers Lewisham (2011)

Phone: 020 8699 8686

E-mail: info@carerslewisham.org.uk

Website:

www.carerslewisham.org.uk

This resource is aimed at secondary schools in Lewisham in the United Kingdom. It has been prepared for use in schools by way of lessons with students to raise awareness of the caring role and where to seek information and support. By teachers delivering the lessons, it is also an opportunity for them to learn more about young carers.


There are three lesson plans. 

  1. Families and young carers: For students to explore their relationships with their family and to gain insight into what life may be like for young carers.
  2. Case studies: To raise awareness of the challenges a young carer may face. Includes ‘A day in the life of a young carer’.
  3. Illness and issues: To bring some knowledge and understanding of physical disability, learning disability, mental ill health and substance misuse. Includes true and false statements on physical disability, learning disability, mental ill health, drug and alcohol issues, and long term illness.

There is also a Lewisham Schools Young Carers Charter Invitation, with information on what school scan do to support young carers and the services on offer from Young Carers Lewisham. 

There is further information at the back of the resource:

  • Excerpts from ‘Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities: a caring system on your side, a life of your own’.
  • The barriers to delivering ‘Every Child Matters’ for young carers.
  • Lewisham’s Young Carers Schools Charter – an agreement schools can sign.
  • Further information and resources.

Young Carers e-learning module

Department of Health, Department of Education, and National Young Carers Coalition

Phone: 0370 000 2288

Enquiry form: www.education.gov.uk

Website: www.childrenssociety.org.uk

This is an online module to be used by school staff in the United Kingdom to increase their awareness of young carers in schools. The resource takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.

 

It is an interactive resource with quizzes, quotes from young carers and videos of young carers describing their caring role. There are accompanying printable documents of case studies and practical actions that can be taken by different types of school staff (e.g. young carer lead/mentor, healthy schools coordinators, school governors, classroom teachers).

 

Key sections:

  • What is caring?
  • Statistics.
  • Effects of the caring role on young people and what to look out for in terms of a young person’s behaviour at school.
  • Identifying young carers in schools.
  • The ‘elements of the whole school approach’ and how this fits with assisting young carers.
  • The systems and strategies schools can use to support young carers: young carer lead, young carer policy, ways to increase awareness, a support club and extra assistance with homework, addressing transition between primary to secondary school, and secondary school to higher education or work, etc.
  • The roles different types of staff play in assisting young carers.
  • Use of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for inappropriate caring situations.
  • Next steps.

Young Carers Resource Pack for Schools

Dundee Young Carers Project (2007)

Phone: 01382 200 422

E-mail: centre@dundeecarerscentre.org.uk

Website: www.youngcarers.co.uk/

This resource is aimed at primary and secondary schools in Dundee in Scotland. The aim of the resource is to raise educators’ and other professionals’ awareness of young carers, their needs and how young carers can best be supported in school.

There are lessons to increase students’ understanding of disability, illness and caring responsibilities. Part of the content from this resource was used and adapted from the Surrey Young Carers Project ‘Young Carers Resource Pack for Schools’. The resource materials were piloted in 2007 in a number of schools in Scotland. There is a form that schools can use to evaluate the pack.

Key sections:

  • Background information on young carers including definitions, statistics, case studies and a summary of the effects of caring/young carers’ needs.
  • Information about the Young Carers Project.
  • Identifying and supporting young carers.
  • How to use the pack, session plans and accompanying materials (refer to below).
  • Developing a young carers’ policy.
  • Further resources and information, including case studies, ideas for working with young children (i.e. under 16 years), ideas for working with older young people (i.e. 16 years and older), effective strategies for group work, and relevant legislation to young carers.

The following five session plans were developed for students aged 8-12 years but can be adapted for students in other years of schooling:

  1. Who cares?: To identify what caring involves and what it means to us.

  2. The long and short of it: To think about how we know when someone is ill and that certain situations call for short term or long term care.

  3. Put yourself in my shoes: To see that illness can affect and change a family’s life and to know the names and effects of certain illnesses.

  4. How can I cope?: To develop an understanding of the effects than an illness can have on a family, especially a young carer.

  5. How could I help?: To suggest ways the children could offer help/support to a friend in this situation.

The following six sessions plans were developed for students in the lower secondary school range but can be adapted for students in other years:

  1. Family matters: To consider and discuss the purpose and function of the family and to consider the various roles carried out within the family.

  2. Changing roles: To raise students’ awareness about what happens when family roles cannot be fulfilled.

  3. Put yourself in my shoes: To raise awareness of the existence of young carers, the problems they may face and the skills/qualities they possess.

  4. Help! I need somebody: To highlight the idea that young carers’ learning, development and future choices can be affected by their situation.

  5. The Young Carers Project: To find out about and understand the work of the local Young Carers Project.

  6. Who cares?: To introduce the idea of young carers and to being to explore some of the issues they might be faced with.

A DVD accompanies the pack, and has the following sections:

  • Young Carers Project – the lowdown (21 minutes): introduction to the project, staff and young carers talk about the project and some of the issues which young carers have to deal with, an advert for the young carers’ Youth forum meeting in Dundee, a day in the life of a young carer, and meet the Young Carer Project team.
  • Who cares? (20 minutes): general awareness raising about young carers such as: Who are young carers?; What do young carers do?; Education and caring; How do families cope?; Who’s your friend?; and Facts about young carers.
  • Tell it how it is (8.5 minutes): a video documentary of the consultation event for young carers and Monikie Country Park in 2006.
  • The residential (6 minutes): a short film giving an idea of what the young carers can experience on a residential trip with the Young Carer Project. The footage is from a trip to Dalguise in 2006. 

The website has a number of other resources available, including:

  • Young Carer Program leaflet.
  • UPBEET Program leaflet.
  • Scottish Young Carers Festival report.
  • Dundee City Council’s ‘Policy on Provision for Young Carers 2013’.
  • Referral form.

Young carer resources for secondary schools created by Surrey Young Carers

Phone: (+44) 01483 568269

E-mail: syc@actionforcarers.org.uk

Website: http://www.surrey-youngcarers.org.uk/  

For secondary schools, Surrey Young Carers has a resource pack called ‘Young But Not Carefree’ created in 2005. This includes a CD-ROM with an e-book of lesson resources which can be accessed here and a DVD with a film produced by Laurence Topham in two formats (subtitled and non-subtitled) which can be accessed here: http://vimeo.com/10445927

There is a set of six themed lessons relating to the film: 1) Young But Not Carefree: The roles and responsibilities of young carers and how caring affects their lives; 2) Foot in the Slipper: Caring for someone with a chronic illness; 3) Just a Quick Call: Communicating with empathy and how school supports its vulnerable students; 4) There’s Someone I’d Really Like You to Meet: How adults are involved in supporting young people in need; 5) Alone in a Crowd: Isolation and Solidarity; and 6) Young But Not Carefree: The Way I See it Now: Review of the film and the learning of previous lessons, and discussing expectations and perceptions. The additional resources for the themes are two ‘Challenging Moments’ games based on situations and characters in the film, a Diamond Nines activity, and student evaluation sheets. Optional activities include a list of quotes with thoughts and feelings expressed by young carers, case studies which reflect a wide range of caring experiences, exercises to encourage peer listening, useful sources of information, and lyrics from the film to prompt discussion.

A resource titled ‘Young Carers Resource Pack for Schools’ was developed by Surrey Young Carers Project, Soroptimist International of Reigate and District, Surrey Education Services and Surrey schools and it can be accessed here. This resource is aimed at primary and secondary schools in Surrey in the United Kingdom. The resource aims to raise teachers' awareness of young carers and their needs, and provides some suggestions on how young carers can be supported within schools. There are lesson plans within the resource that aim to increase students' understanding of disability, illness and caring responsibilities. There is a form that schools can use to evaluate the resource. Part of the content from this resource was used and adapted by the Dundee Young Carers Project 'Young Carers Resource Pack for Schools'.

Key sections:

  • Background information including definitions, statistics, case studies, quotes from young carers, and a summary of the effects of caring/young carers’ needs.
  • Lesson plans and accompanying materials (referred to below).
  • Further resources and information, including effective strategies for personal and social education, and relevant legislation to young carers.

The following six lesson plans were developed for students aged between 7 and 11 years:

  1. Who cares?: To identify what caring involves.

  2. The long and the short of it: To know that certain situations call for short-term or long-term special/extra care.

  3. What does it do to you?: To know that illness can have seen and unseen symptoms and to know the names and effects of certain illnesses.

  4. Put yourself in my shoes: To see that illness can affect and change a family’s life. To know the names and effects of certain illnesses.

  5. How would I feel?: To demonstrate their understanding of the effects an illness can have on a family.

  6. How could I help?: To suggest ways the children could offer help/support to a friend in this situation.

The following six lesson plans were developed for students aged between 11 and 14 years.

  1. What is a family?: For students to consider and discuss the purpose and function of the family.

  2. Roles within a family: For students to consider the various roles within a family and address the issue of stereotypical images.

  3. Changing roles: To raise students' awareness about what happens when family roles cannot be fulfilled.

  4. Case studies of young carers: To raise awareness of the existence of young carers, the problems they may face and the skills/qualities they possess, and to raise the esteem of any young carers in the group and encourage them to seek help if necessary.

  5. Study of the local Young Carers Project: For students to understand the work of the local Young Carers Project.

  6. How can schools help young carers achieve their best?: To highlight the idea that a young carers’ learning, development and future choices can be affected by their situation, and to establish and promote ways in which a school can assist young carers.

Young Carers Teachers Guide & Educational Resource Pack

Action for Young Carers – Carers Federation (2005)

Phone: 01159 629 310

E-mail: info@carersfederation.co.uk

Website: www.carersfederation.co.uk

This resource is aimed at primary and secondary schools across Lincolnshire and NottinghamshireIt has been prepared for use in schools by way of lessons with students to raise awareness about the caring role and where to seek information and support. The pack can be used for teacher training. 


There are three lesson plans:

  1. General introduction to young carers.
  2. Exploring the impacts of illness and disability.
  3. Different ways young carers can be supported.

The lessons are aimed at students in early secondary school. Each lesson has background information, class activities facilitated by the teacher and conducted in small groups, case studies or role plays, quiz questions, and a lesson evaluation for students to complete.

In addition to the lesson plans, there is some general information about young carers, including things they report they want support with in schools, positive steps schools can take to identify and support young carers, the primary sources of support for young carers, and young carer stories. There is a form that secondary schools can use to evaluate the pack, a list of further reading, and useful contacts.

Young Carers Toolkit

Wales – United Kingdom. Youth Friendly (2013)

E-mail: admin@youthfriendly.co.uk

Website: www.youngcarerstoolkit.co.uk

Available in English and Welsh languages

An online toolkit with sections of the website dedicated specifically to what schools can do to support young carers in Wales.


The toolkit was commissioned by the Welsh Government and produced by Youth Friendly in collaboration with the Young Carers Network. The website is interactive and includes videos, case studies, e-learning modules and downloadable content.

Key sections:

  • Examples of how schools in Wales engage with young carers and examples of good practice.
  • Raising awareness of young carers.
  • Systems and strategies schools can adopt to assist young carers.
  • Training in how professionals can identify young carers.
  • Peer advice and young carer groups.
  • Activities relating to caring that can be done in the classroom.
  • Transition planning for young carers going on to higher education or employment.
  • Creating ID cards for young carers as a way for them to be recognised and to receive benefits.
  • Addressing bullying of young carers.

 

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