At Robin Hood, we define a Young Carer as anyone who:
Regularly looks after a family member who has a serious illness, disability, mental illness or substance misuse problem. This person may be a sibling, a parent or a member of their extended family.
We also recognise that children and young people may also have additional caring responsibilities in the shorter term e.g. when a family member is in hospital or receiving treatment over a period of time.
When a child or young person looks after someone in their home or extended family on a long term or temporary basis, he or she may need extra support and understanding in order to gain the most from their time at school.
However, we also recognise that Young Carers have a right to privacy and will listen to and respect the individual Young Carers’ views about the extent to which they would like to be supported – be this great or small.
How we identify a Young Carer
Whilst we wish to be proactive in supporting our Young Carers and their families, we recognise that some families may wish to keep their situation private. However, by bringing the issue of Young carers to the fore, we hope to encourage them to come forward and thus benefit from any strategies we are able to put in place.
We seek to identify our Young Carers in the following ways:
On entry to the school – through discussion with our Deputy Head teacher and through liaison with previous schools
Having open relationships with our pupils and doing all we can to know them (and their families) well
Following up information shared by other agencies
Awareness raising assemblies and items in newsletters e.g. during Young Carers’ Week
How we support Young Carers and their families
The Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Rose, is the Designated Teacher for Young Carers along with Mrs Rix, Assistant Headteacher. They are the Young Carers' main point of contact, offering support and guidance as required and they will alert staff to the needs of our Young Carers as appropriate. They can also put Young Carers and their families in touch with local agencies and support groups.
We do all we can to ensure Young Carers have access to support when completing homework e.g via access to homework club after school on Thursdays. The co-ordinators will also offer support to the families of Young Carers in order to help them to support their children in school as far as it is possible to do so.
Where a Young Carer is concerned about a family member, Mrs Rose will ensure that he or she has access to a telephone during the school day in order to make contact as appropriate. We ask families about any special access requirements and are happy to make adaptations in order to allow caring families or families where illness or disability is an issue to access different aspects of school life e.g consultation evenings, plays and sporting events.
How we help support our staff with training
All staff have received awareness training on Young Carers.
How to identify Young Carers
How their caring roles can impact on their ability to participate fully in school. (Lateness or poor attendance, problems with concentration, under-achievement, tiredness , anxiety, inability to attend extra-curricular activities)
The potential for social isolation or bullying
Making reasonable and supportive adaptations
Difficulties in engaging parents e.g via consultation evenings
Staff are aware of the co-ordinator’s roles for Young Carers and the ways in which they can signpost support as required
Staff will be updated on how to support Young Carers on a regular basis
How we try and make others aware of Young Carers
The school works to identify Young Carers, including a full school assembly looking at the experiences of Young Carers. We feature Young Carers’ via assemblies, our school newsletter and other activities. These help to make other children and their families aware of some of the circumstances facing Young Carers and their families and the need for us to put our school values into practice in order to be understanding and supportive. E.g. cooperation, friendliness, respect. The children also do work in their PSHE lessons about looking after members of their families and what is it like to be a Young Carer.
We recognise the importance of working together in partnership with other agencies e.g. Sutton Young Carers in order to provide personalised support for Young Carers and their families inside and outside of school.
How we monitor our protocol
The Learning and Attainment Committee of the Governing Body will receive updates on the number of Young Carers in school and ways in which they are supported.