Support for Young Carers

Support for Young Carers Image

Ongoing efforts to support young carers at home, in school and in the community will be outlined to the next meeting of the children and families services committee.

Awareness raising since the introduction of new legislation four years ago has seen a near tenfold rise in number of young carers identified across the city, from 65 in September 2018 to nearly 600 in October this year.

The committee will be told that “cultural change” has been promoted through new ways of working to help young people who care for another person.

Developments for young carers achieved in partnership with the Dundee Carers Centre in the last year include:

• 37 Young Carer Ambassadors have acted as volunteers to inform and contribute towards approaches in every secondary school, alongside Carers Centre and school staff.
• Young Carers Voice has been successfully re-established post COVID and they are working with the young carers subgroup on plans for Roadshows in the New Year leading up to a young carer led Young Carer Action Day in March 2023
• Co-production of peer education resources to deliver awareness raising sessions in primary schools and a new resource pack, was launched in November 2021. Following a trial period in 4 Primary Schools this has now been rolled out across the city
• Learning from the Young Carers Statement test is now embedded as a routine requirement within new Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) resources and framework
• Peer support groups for Young Carers are now run jointly by Ambassadors and staff in all secondary schools and in an increasing number of primary schools. A group of young carers in the Baldragon cluster are developing a peer education resource to be delivered in primary schools by secondary aged young carers.

Since last year, a new strategy ‘A Caring Dundee 2 2021-24’has been in operation. The approach towards Young Carers prioritises co-production, early identification and support through jointly coordinated work in all primary and secondary schools.

Depute convener of the committee Councillor Roisin Smith said: “We have come a long way in the last few years to provide more assistance to these young people but we cannot be complacent.

“I hope that young people with a caring responsibility feel more confident to come forward and seek out help. We want them to become more and more involved in how support is provided to all our pupils who face similar circumstances.

“Caring responsibilities bring extra pressures and we must ensure that we can do all we can, with sensitivity, to help them make the most of their education and move on to new opportunities.”

The report also explains that a Young Carer Outreach Team from The Corner is working across Dundee offering holistic health assessments.

These are an opportunity for young people to reflect on their life and allow for any unmet needs to be identified to help improve their health outcomes.

The committee will her that Dundee is the first local authority in Scotland to implement holistic health checks for young carers.

Sarah Boath, Dundee Carers Centre Carers Support Team Manager, added: “Young carers in Dundee do an amazing job.

“In partnership with Dundee Carers Centre and school staff they run assemblies and workshops in school, create displays and maintain noticeboards, support the delivery of young carers peer support groups and make Dundee a City where young carers voices are heard – and more importantly acted upon.

“Positive culture change and partnership working is only made possible through young carers themselves being at the heart of the partnership and driving the change in Dundee.”

Voices of young people reflecting on their experiences of caring are included in the report, which will be considered by the children and families services committee on Monday December 5.

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