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Young Carers Action Day – Young and Young Adult Carers in Education and Employment

Young Carers Action Day – Young and Young Adult Carers in Education and Employment

There are estimated to be at least 376,000 Young Adult Carers in the UK aged 16 – 25.

According to the 2011 Census, Lincolnshire reported 1,800 Young Carers under the age of 15, and a further 3,500 Young Adult Carers aged 16 – 25.

The theme for this years Young Carers Action Day is ‘Protecting Young Carers Futures’

With this in mind, we want to talk about how employers and businesses can support Young Carers or Young Adult Carers they work with or Young Carers and Young Adult Carers that may be employed by them.

Young Carers develop a wide range of transferable skills that are very valuable in employment. However it can be difficult for Young Carers looking to enter the workplace due to the demands of their caring role. This is why it is important that they are supported to highlight the incredible skills they will have developed through being a Carer – like resilience, time-management and empathy.

  • There is a one in three likelihood of a Young Carer at Year 9 becoming ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET), compared to a 1 in 4 chance for non-carers.
  • Whilst the average age for becoming a Young Carer is 10, with many providing care to a family member for several years, as few as two in ten will have a formal assessment of their needs.
  • 27% of Young Carers, aged 11 – 15, miss school or experience educational difficulties (Dearden, C, Becker, S, 2004).
  • Young Adult Carers take on significant additional responsibilities which can make the transitions from childhood to adulthood especially complex and challenging. The difficulties they experience as a result of their caring role can have significant and long term negative impacts on their engagement with education and employment, and their overall physical and emotional wellbeing, evidenced by a large body of research.

Source: Lincolnshire JSNA

  • Young Adult Carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training (NEET).
  • 56% of Young Adult Carers in college or university were struggling because of their caring role.

Research by Carers Trust

Being a Young or Young Adult Carer can be incredibly stressful and emotionally challenging.

Watch the below video clip to hear what former Young Carer Dan would say to his younger self now.

Education and health professionals have a key role to play in pro-active identification of Young Carers and Young Adult Carers. The earlier a Young Carer or Young Adult Carer is identified, the quicker appropriate support can be put in place.

What can you do as a business or employer to help protect Young Carers futures?

  • By raising awareness of caring within our local communities and workplaces we can help to improve the lives of Young and Young Adult Carers. You can start raising awareness by taking part in awareness raising initiatives nationally and locally. Subscribe to and follow Carers Trust to stay up to date with changes in legislation and campaigns for Young and Young Adult Carers.
  • Normalise conversations around caring, and encourage employees to share their own caring journey. Industry role models can inspire Young and Young Adult Carers and showcase different pathways that led them to their career.
  • Employers can acknowledge and recognise the skills that Young and Young Adult Carers can bring to the workplace.
  • Offer opportunities to help Young and Young Adult Carers to start their career journey, building aspirations and skills and improving pathways to employment. This could be through updating existing programmes to become more inclusive for carers, or through tailored activities and programmes for Young and Young Adult Carers for example career insights days and skills workshops.

Together, we can remove barriers that are blocking the path of Young Carers into work. Lets think about how we can take advantage of growing flexibility in the workplace to help Young Carers fit work around their caring responsibilities.

Here is short video by Carers Trust that features an interview of two Young Adult Carers to find out more about the skills they can bring from their caring role into the workplace.

There are a number of things that you can do immediately to support Young Carers or Young Adult Carers that are employers within your organisation or to support Young Carers or Young Adult Carers you may be working with.

Sign up to the online Employers For Carers resource. This is a free resource that is accessible online that provides case studies, model policies, FAQs, toolkits, expert opinion pieces, policy news and essential guides, as well as e-Learning modules. Contact us at Every-One to get instant free access.

Inquire with us about working towards the Lincolnshire Carers Quality Award. The award ensures that the profile of unpaid carers in Lincolnshire is raised and the invaluable and essential contribution they make is recognised, enabling carers to live fulfilling lives combined with their caring roles. The award can be worked towards and obtained for free in Lincolnshire. Contact us to find out more.

The above resources will help you to develop Carer friendly policies and practices that are embedded within your business or organisation.

In the mean time think about:

  • Do you have a Carers information board in your school, college or university?
  • If you are in an education setting, what support do you provide to Young and Young Adult Carers that helps them to remain in education?
  • Do you know who is a Young and Young Adult Carers in your organisation?
  • Do you have a Carers policy?
  • Are your policies Carer friendly, for example do you have a flexible working policy?
  • Do you have a Staff Carer Network? How do you stay connected with your staff that are Young and Young Adult Carers?

We have worked with a former Young Carer to develop a short 5 minute read case study about what life was like as a Young Carer and what they would say to their younger self now.

Support for Young and Young Adult Carers in Lincolnshire

The Lincolnshire Young Carers Service supports Young Carers up to the age of 19.

The Lincolnshire Carers Service provides support to Carers aged 19 and above.

Healthy Minds Lincolnshire provide emotional wellbeing support for children and young people up to 19 years old.

Carers FIRST provide a range of services and support for Carers in Lincolnshire.

Resources

Connect to Support Lincolnshire is an online information and advice library, community directory and marketplace for adults in Lincolnshire.

ACAS – Code of Practice on handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly

Which – Guide To Flexible Working

Youth Business International support undeserved young entrepreneurs (18 – 35 years) to start, grow and sustain their businesses – enabling them to create jobs, build communities and transform lives.

Information on the Gov.uk website on support for young entrepreneurs.

#YoungCarersActionDay2021